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The dangers of the public accessing scaffolding

26th September 2016

The incident happened at 11.30pm. Fortunately the boy was reported to be in a stable condition following the accident but clearly the incident could have been more serious.

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Image credit: http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14722286.Boy__14__in_stable_condition_after_falling_from_shopping_centre_scaffolding/?ref=rss

It is not known what the 14-year-old was doing on the scaffolding but there have been previous cases of members of the public climbing scaffolding for fun and this is just one in a growing line of public-related scaffolding incidents that have resulted in both serious, and fatal injury

Activities such as parkour and free running as well as more recently PokemonGo have led people to trespass on construction sites or to climb scaffolding. The proliferation of videos on YouTube and various social media channels demonstrate the extent of the problem.

Members of the public accessing scaffolding structures and construction sites is a serious concern, but often those passing by outside of site boundaries find themselves at risk.  By accessing scaffolding, individuals clearly put themselves at risk. Those not in the industry, particularly children, see an exciting tangle of metal tubes and the new and unknown environment and potential ‘playground’ this offers acts an enticement to those that are too young or risk unaware to recognise the dangers.

As a result of this, special arrangements should be made to protect the young and vulnerable and this may include hoarding the scaffold base, fencing the base of the scaffold, removal of ladders, blocking of stair cases and using out of hours scaffolding alarm systems, or any other measures required to protect those not involved in the construction work – even – in some situations, monitored CCTV.