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Falling scaffolding can be fatal

28th June 2016

Two incidents occurred within days of one other. In the first incident, one woman was killed by some falling scaffolding in The Hague and another was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries following an incident in London.

Image credit: http://www.nltimes.nl
Image credit: http://www.nltimes.nl

Both accidents happened in busy, city centres during daylight when there were lots of pedestrians around, highlighting the risk of falling materials and the need to adequately control the interface between scaffolding activity and members of the public.

Sadly the woman in The Hague was killed instantly. The accident happened when construction workers were raising parts of scaffolding when part of it came loose and fell to the ground.

In the London incident, the victim was taken to hospital but her injuries were not thought to be life-threatening. Given the location of the accident – a busy shopping centre – the outcome could clearly have been very different and the fact that it wasn’t can likely be attributed to luck rather than judgement.

This, and other fairly regular similar accidents involving those not involved with scaffolding activity, are stark reminders that guidance such as NASC’s SG34:11 ‘Guidance on Protection of the Public’ and HSE’s HSG151 ‘Protecting the Public – Your Next Move’ can provide essential advice on what needs to be done. Often, the control measures required are very simple and can include exclusion zones and road closures etc.

If you would like advice or guidance in this area, Simian can help. Please call us on 0345 602 2418 (option 1).