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SCOSS HIGHLIGHTS LESSONS FROM MAJOR STADIUM COLLAPSE

Dutch Safety Board findings provide useful reminder to UK construction

The Structural-Safety web site (SCOSS) has reviewed a Dutch Safety Board report into a major collapse (July 2011) during construction of a footbal stadium in Holland. Two construction workers died in the incident and nine were seriously injured.

The Structural-Safety web site combining CROSS (Confidential reporting on structural safety) and SCOSS (Standing committee on structural safety) contains newsletters, a data base of reports, information on how to report, Alerts and other publications.

The SCOSS Topic paper discusses the report into FC Twente stadium roof collapse and concludes that the main findings are:

  • Coordination– activities of all subcontractors must be coordinated;
  • Design – there must be coordination of the design process and integration of the various interfaces;
  • Temporary works – temporary conditions are often more onerous than permanent ones. Temporary works must be designed to accommodate temporary loads;
  • Time – sufficient time must be allocated to work activities;
  • Planning – activities should follow a defined method statement; and
  • Manangement – operations should be signed off prior to follow-on trades starting.
Comment

This report pulls no punches and is a useful reminder of the catastrophic potential for injury always present during major construction projects. Many conclusions in the report concern issues central to the UK CDM Regulations 2007.

The report has been published only 15 months after the incident occurred enabling others to share the lessons. By contrast in the UK there would be far more caution in publishing such a report for fear of prejudicing any legal proceedings. Perhaps we have something to learn from our Dutch EU partners.

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