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    SCOSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

    The Structural-Safety web site combining CROSS (Confidential reporting on structural safety) and SCOSS (Standing committee on structural safety) issues regular newsletters and includes a data base of reports, alerts and other publications.

    Newsletter No 32 has now been published and contains reports and expert comment on the following matters.

    Visit the website to view the full reports:

    • 341 Balcony collapse at block of flats

    A reinforced concrete balcony collapsed at a block of flats which are believed to have been built in 1966. Fortunately no-one was injured. An HSE Construction Specialist Inspector found that the external balcony appeared to be a continuation of the floor slab and served as the residents’ only access to their individual flats.

    • 304 Partial collapse of suspended ceiling

    A section of suspended ceiling in a multi-storey building collapsed. The ceiling, which was much newer than the building, consisted of mineral fibre tiles laid into a grid system supported by galvanised wires. These were connected to eye bolts which were screwed into expansion anchors drilled into what appeared to be a plaster soffit.

    • 314 More on freezing and galvanised hollow sections

    A reporter says that in the course of his work for a Warranty provider he was involved in correcting a cold formed galvanised SHS (120 X 120 X 5) 4 storey balcony structure which had longitudinal splits formed in at least two of 4 columns that supported these balconies.

    • 320 Lifting an unbalanced load

    This relates to the lifting of an item of plant by a tower crane during which the load toppled from the slings causing considerable damage and delay. By chance serious injury was avoided.

    • 312 Look-alike construction equipment

    A reporter wonders if the risks brought to the industry by look-alike temporary works equipment is something that had been reported to CROSS?

    • 365 Alterations to existing buildings with no site visits

    Another reporter is involved with structural alterations and extensions. Structural engineers are doing the structural calculations and drawings based on the Architects’ drawings only, with no site visits.

    • 361 Basement party walls

    The client’s Consulting Engineer had designed a new basement but, when queried by the Consulting Engineer for the main contractor, was unable to provide survey information for the adjoining property.

    • 411 Quick & Cheap Design Calculations

    A building control officer says that he recently received a set of calculations which had been prepared through a website that specialises in providing calculations at a very low price. They do this by having a number of generic designs which are then adapted to the purpose.

    • 348 Responsibilities of Local Authorities for possibly dangerous structures

    A reporter, who used to be involved with building control, believes that Local Authorities have a duty to decide if a danger exists when a member of the public draws their attention to a potentially dangerous situation.

    • 346 Viaduct survey concerns

    A small four span brickwork railway viaduct has been degrading for some time and a reporter, who was not associated with the structure, noted that cracks had worsened over recent years.

    • 358 Offshore tower failure

    The top two thirds of a three part off-shore lattice mast failed due to problems with some of the connection bolts.


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