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SCAFFOLD COLLAPSE IN HIGH WINDS

Inadequate ties and improper inspection ends in scaffold collapse

Tower Scaffolding Ltd and Dyball Civil Engineering (now Mansell Construction Services) have been ordered to pay £23k in fines and prosecution costs after a scaffold collapse in Dartmouth in 2005.

The collapse occurred during construction of a £15m project involving new build homes and refurbishment of a hotel at Dartmouth Marina.

Dean and Dyball was principal contractor when 40m of scaffolding collapsed during high winds. The court heard that insufficient ties were in place, those used were not suitable and not been tested properly and inspections of the scaffold were inadequate.

Stephen Covell, representing HSE said: “This was a significant scaffolding collapse. A number of the ties failed and a large section collapsed.”

Mark Owen, for Tower Scaffolding, said the tieing method had been used since February, 2005 and was installed by experienced scaffolders. He added the method was necessary to avoid discolouration to the stone rendering.

John Doyle, manager at Tower Scaffolding said:”In 30 years of experience, it was the worst working day of my life. Having this hanging over us for the last five years has put a lot of strain on the company. Measures have now been put in place to make sure this never happens again, making Tower Scaffolding an even safer company.”

HSE Inspector Jonathan Harris, said: “There was a totally avoidable collapse. By shear chance there were no fatal or serious injuries caused because there wasn’t anyone on site when the structure collapsed”

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