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    INEVITABLE COLLAPSE OF SCAFFOLD ON TO SCHOOL

    Scaffold not designed or installed to withstand foreseeable loads

    A scaffolding company has been fined £24,000 after scaffolding erected by the company collapsed onto an adjacent primary school in Penarth, Wales on 5th  May 2017.

    Cardiff Magistrates heard that the contractor had erected scaffolding 7m high and 8m long at the gable end of a residential property when the scaffold collapsed landing on a single storey roof above the school playground.

    At the time of the collapse, a group of nursery children were in the playground only a few metres away and minutes before the collapse the playground had been full of children playing after their lunch break.

    Essentially a free-standing structure

    HSE found the scaffolding was not designed or installed to withstand foreseeable loads. The structure was not tied to the adjacent building, nor did it have adequate buttressing or rakers. It was essentially a freestanding structure.

    The investigation found that it was almost inevitable that the scaffolding would collapse, “even in unremarkable weather conditions”.

    • Swain Scaffolding Limited – of Heol Y Nant, Rhiwbina, Cardiff was found guilty of breaching Regulation 19(2) of the Construction Design and Management Regulations and was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay £3452.50 in costs.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gemma Pavey commented:

    “Failure to adequately design and install scaffolding, so that it can withstand foreseeable loads, creates risk to workers and members of the public who could be injured by an uncontrolled collapse.

    Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

     

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