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    BOARD FELL DURING SCAFFOLD STRIKING

    Patient calls for ‘inquiry’ after scaffold board near miss at Southend Hospital

    The Southend Echo has reported that a patient walking through the hospital main entrance narrowly escaped injury when a scaffold board fell from the building.

    The board landed two feet in front of a woman in a wheelchair and fell across the road, just missing a car. The incident has been reported to HSE.

    Mr Brown said:

    “There were no safety barriers to protect the public from any falling scaffold boards. They are pulling their scaffolding down right outside the main entrance to the hospital. I thought this was dangerous because people are walking underneath it. It should never have been allowed to happen.”

    John Gilham, CEO at the hospital said:

    “We very much regret this incident and the distress it may have caused to our patients and visitors in the vicinity, particularly the elderly couple. We have been in urgent discussion with our contractors, Connaught, who have halted all its scaffold operations while investigations are carried out.”

    Connaught said:

    “We are currently investigating an incident in which a scaffold board fell from height while being removed from our site at Southend Hospital. We are awaiting a report from our scaffolding contractor and in the meantime we have suspended work on the site.”

    Comment

    The striking of scaffolding is a high risk activity as evidenced by the recent fatality in London when a workman was struck by a falling scaffold pole.

    Scaffolding and principal contractors face a challenging task when managing the erecting or striking scaffolding on a busy hospital site. However, the only acceptable outcome is to effectively exclude persons from the danger area.

    The project client must also be satisfied that arrangements are in place to manage the construction risks on their premises. A good starting point is to engage scaffolding contractors who are members of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation

     

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