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SHEETED SCAFFOLDING COLLAPSED DURING ROOF REFURB

Falling structure untied and not installed in compliance with original drawings

Johnson Scaffold Services Ltd of Surrey has been fined after a large section of scaffolding collapsed at a site in Walton-on-Thames on 18 December 2009.

Magistrates heard how the company erected sheeted scaffolding around a building in Copenhagen Way, Surrey, to enable a separate contractor to refurbish the roof.

On completion the structure was partially removed leaving some of the sheeted scaffolding still standing. During the early hours of the morning on 18th December a section of scaffolding some 33m in length and over 10m high collapsed.

HSE investigation revealed the scaffold was not installed according to the original drawings and had not been adequately tied. It was left in an unsafe condition overnight while being dismantled.

Scaffolds must never be left in unstable condition

Johnson Scaffold Services Ltd, of Chaldon in Surrey, pleaded guilty of breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay costs of £7,000.

After the hearing, HSE’s inspector Denis Bodger said:

“This was a serious incident that could have resulted in severe injury or worse, it was sheer luck that meant no one was in the way of the scaffolding when it collapsed.

Scaffolds should be designed by a competent person or built to a recognised standard. At no stage during erection, use or removal should they be left in an unstable state where they could collapse. They should be adequately tied or other effective means taken.

This should serve as a warning to other companies that HSE will not hesitate to take action against anyone that fails to build safe scaffolding.”

Comment

Scaffolds built within the UK since January 1st 2011 must meet BS EN12811-1. The NASC TG20:08 – Technical Guidance is the accepted guidance document on meeting the standard in respect of tube and fitting scaffolds. The document covers standard solutions for basic independent and putlog scaffolds.

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One Response to “SHEETED SCAFFOLDING COLLAPSED DURING ROOF REFURB”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 10th AUGUST 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Johnson Scaffold Services – scaffold collapse: £7,500 […]