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    CONTRACTOR FAILED TO MAINTAIN SCAFFOLD SAFETY

    Pedestrians and drivers in miraculous escape on busy City street

    Alliance Building & Contracting Ltd has been prosecuted after scaffolding collapsed on a busy West London street miraculously missing pedestrians and traffic in October 2011.

    Westminster Magistrates heard (10 July) the firm (now in liquidation) was principal contractor for the demolition and build project in Fulham. The 16m long scaffold collapsed at lunchtime on a normally busy thoroughfare a short distance from a nursery and local schools.

    HSE told the Court that the firm failed to properly manage the demolition phase of the work. The scaffold had been on site for 12 month and left free-standing long after demolition had finished.

    The site had been left unattended for long periods and regular inspections of the scaffold for safety had not taken place.

    Regular inspections of scaffolding are essential

    Alliance Building & Contracting Ltd, of Monument Hill, Weybridge, was found guilty in their absence of a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Magistrates imposed a fine of £10,000 with costs of £7,190.

    Speaking after the hearing, Inspector Charles Linfoot said:

    “Scaffold collapses are infrequent in the construction industry, but when they occur, they often cause serious injury, fatalities and major damage.

    Lillie Road is a busy one and it is a matter of chance that the collapse, brought about by the safety failures of Alliance Building & Contracting, did not have more serious consequences.

    The case shows how important it is to actively manage all the risks on a construction site and, in particular, to make sure inspections of scaffolding are carried out regularly.”

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