Are these workers trapped by bollards they’ve installed outside a hospital in Belfast?

CLAIM: Workers have trapped their van inside bollards they are installing outside a hospital in Belfast.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The building is an office block in Manchester, not a hospital in Belfast. And the bollards are removable.

A number of much shared Facebook posts claim “These workmen are just finished installing cast-iron bollards to stop people from parking on the pavement outside the Royal Hospital in Belfast. They are cleaning up at the end of the day. If you can spot why they’re not going home hit share, and don’t say!”

The image in these humour Facebook posts frequently appears in memes and Facebook posts. The location varies. This well shared version claims that the workmen are installing bollards outside “the Royal Hospital in Belfast”.

Technically, there is no “Royal Hospital in Belfast”. The Royal Victoria Hospital is one of four linked hospitals that makes up Northern Ireland’s largest hospitals site. The other hospitals are Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Royal Dental Hospital and Royal Jubilee Maternity Service.

The building featured in the Facebook post is not on the Royal site. It’s neither in Belfast nor a hospital. Instead, this is an office building, Astley House, 23 Quay Street, Manchester. You can read more about the building on this webpage.

How do we know this?

By dragging an image into Google Image search running in another browser tab can help identify other websites and pages on which it has been used, often providing clues to the veracity of the information about its location. In this case, a prominent image search result is a link to the Snopes website, which explains that the bollards in the photograph are of a type that can be removed by inserting a key, twisting the bollard, and lifting them out of their socket base.

So, the workers are neither trapped nor in Belfast!