The base of a concrete bollard - which fell and fatally injured a three-year-old boy - was in “pretty bad condition”, a building safety expert has said.
Peter Cheesman, a retired senior lecturer at Heriot-Watt University, said the fact it was standing on compacted stones or gravel meant it would have a tendency to rock or fall over.
The evidence came on the fourth day of the trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, which has denied eight charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
The boy, Ben Craggs, was at the Show on June 19, 2008, with his parents, Jonathan and Dawn Craggs, from Sedgefield, County Durham, when he fell and grabbed a rope connecting two of the bollards, one of which overturned, striking him on the head. He died in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children from his injuries.
Mr Cheesman was called to scene of the accident on June 20 by Lothian and Borders Police. He said the top of the three and a half foot high bollard, was solid, while below was hollow. That made it more likely to fall over.
Tests on the bollard showed that it would take 30 to 10 kilos of force to topple it, he said. He was told Ben weighed 16 kilos and that he was walking when he fell and grabbed the rope, connecting the bollards.
“Even if he had been standing still, that would still have been enough” said Mr Cheesman. He told the court that had the bollard had been joined to another by a metal pole it could still have fallen, but not in the way it did. “Somebody should be going round every day to check on safety of things like bollards” he said.
The trial continues.