House hit by collapsing scaffold

Monday, 17 December, 2018

House hit by collapsing scaffold

A segment of scaffolding collapsed onto a neighbouring home in Queensland during an incident in November 2018.

According to a Workplace Health and Safety Queensland incident alert, a segment of scaffold approximately 17 metres long and 8 metres high on a housing construction site collapsed onto a neighbouring residential house. The house was occupied at the time of the incident.

The incident alert said early investigations suggest the scaffold may have been freestanding at the time and had not been tied back to the building or other structure. No-one was injured as a result of the collapse. Investigations are continuing.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland said that when scaffolding is erected, it is important that scaffolding ties, back to the building or structure, are installed progressively as the height of the scaffolding increases. If ties are not installed until the scaffolding reaches its full height there is a high likelihood that the scaffolding will collapse, placing workers and members of the public at risk. All ties are to be installed in accordance with the scaffolding plan and are to withstand a minimum tensile or compressive force of 6 kN. If there is any doubt about the ability of a tie anchorage to withstand this minimum load, the advice of a professional engineer should be sought.

The incident alert said that the assembly, alteration, use and dismantling of scaffold may expose workers to the risk of a serious fall or being struck by falling objects, such as scaffold components, tools or, in the event of a collapse, the entire scaffold. The person with management or control of a scaffold at a workplace must prevent unauthorised access to any incomplete or unattended scaffold.

Image credit: ©T-REX/Dollar Photo Club

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