Two companies were fined £6,000 yesterday after scaffolding crashed down on a busy Birmingham city centre street, injuring two office workers.
The structure, weighing more than six tonnes and 50 metres long, toppled in a domino-like effect, causing shoppers and office staff to flee, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Kelmark Scaffolding Ltd and M&J Flat Roofing Limited each admitted a charge under Construction, Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations.
Kelmark, based in Birmingham, was fined £4,000 and Bedford-based M&J £2,000. Each was ordered to pay £3,500 costs.
Bernard Thorogood, prosecuting, said the accident occurred on November 3 2003 in Ethel Street, during high winds.
He said the scaffolding had been put up the previous evening in order for work to be carried out on a flat canopy roof.
Mr Thorogood said the fundamental error had been made of erecting the scaffolding without tying it to the building.
He said it had also been sheeted as a safety measure but this had increased its vulnerability to winds.
He said M&J had failed in its obligation to ensure the structure was stable.
Mr Thorogood said when it fell down, 18 yearold Xiomara Taylor, a salesforce operative, who had just left work, was knocked unconscious.
He said Miss Taylor, who spent five days in hospital, suffered a massive cut running from ear to ear and three weeks after the accident had a lot of back and neck pain.
Alastair Young, representing Kelmark, said it was a family-run business and it had been intended for the scaffolding to be tied to the building.