A Lavender Hill woman was left with a concussion after a door fell on her head in the waiting room at Lavender Hill baby clinic.
The injured Badrunisa Holman said she is willing to take legal action, if her condition worsens, because immediately after the incident, on Wednesday January 17, the nursing sister of the facility “scolded” at Ms Holman for swearing and showed her “no sympathy”.
Ms Holman, her husband Denzil and nephew Kurt, accompanied daughter Asheeqah and her four-month-old baby Aashiq to the clinic to have the baby weighed.
While the Holman family were sitting in the waiting room, construction workers were busy with maintenance nearby , with not enough space cordoned off to prevent people from getting too close to the working area.
Ms Holman said she was sitting on the bench with her husband, while her nephew was standing and holding the baby as her daughter was speaking to a nurse.
Ms Holman saw a worker remove the door about less than a metre away from her. “He took off the door and let it lean loosely against the wall. But as he walked away from the door, it toppled over and fell on me and knocked the side of my head and neck.”
Ms Holman said it could have been more of a tragedy as she had asked her nephew if she could hold the baby. “But luckily, he didn’t hand me the baby.”
In the heat of the moment, Ms Holman admits jumping up and starting to swear.
The nursing sister heard the commotion and came running towards Ms Holman to tell her to stop swearing.
Ms Holman said she asked the nurse what she would have done if the door had fallen on her head.
Ms Holman said she was angered by the nurse and the clinic’s lack of “safety consciousness”.
Ms Holman recalled a previous incident in 2015 when she slipped and fell on wet floors at Lavender Hill clinic. “They again did not have a warning sign put up with enough space to warn us that the floors were wet. My leg was injured and I was put on a disability grant.”
Ms Holman said the nurse also recalled the 2015 incident and told her it was her own fault. “I have a big problem with the sister’s attitude, but the rest of the staff at least showed concern. The sister didn’t even call an ambulance, but my husband had to carry me home.”
Ms Holman went to Retreat Community Health Centre the next day, Thursday January 18, where she was told she had a concussion.
“However, they told me if I experience symptoms such as drowsiness, weakness or continuous headaches, vomiting, convulsions and fits or double vision, then I must immediately go back to the hospital.”
Ms Holman said if she does experience any of these symptoms, she will take legal action.
Aubrey Robinson, a community leader who introduced Southern Mail to Ms Holman, said: “I think that safety at any facility like a clinic is very important as it caters for children and we all know how the children like to run around even though you as a parent tries your almost best to control them. As parents we try our best to look where we walk, sit or stand and I feel that if there was a warning or caution sign it would have prevented that incident and even the previous one from happening.”
Mr Robinson said: “As per the General Safety Act all means to warn people must be made visible (about) who the contractor is and also the project manager together with the facility manager of which no one made an effort of putting that safety measure in place. As for the nurse, instead of creating an argument and trying to blame the client I think she should be disciplined as she never even bothered to assess the injured person.”
Suzette Little, acting mayoral committee member for area south, said the contractor was at fault as they are contractually responsible for health and safety.
“However, the facility manager will work closely with the contractor to ensure that these measures are put in place.”
Ms Little said warning signs are displayed at the clinic. “The notices that are up also have the clinic stamp on them.”
When asked if the nurse will be investigated, Ms Little said she was interviewed.
“She says the client was shouting and swearing despite her efforts to apologise and calm her down. (She) confirms that she was not rude to the client. The client left the clinic before she could be assessed.”
Ms Little said the maintenance work at the clinic included all the floors being tiled and the estimated date of completion is January