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Safety Warning Following Scaffolder Fall into River

15th October 2021

The RISQS (Rail Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme) has recently released a safety bulletin following an incident in Glasgow that saw a scaffolding contractor working on scaffolding erected on a structure over water, fall into the river below.

Scaffolder fall into river

The scaffolder had been dismantling the tube and fitting scaffold that had been erected on the structure between the south pier and the riverbank when a dropper tube he was standing on became loose from its couplers, causing him to fall into the river, along with the tube itself. His fall was not arrested because his lanyard was anchored onto this same dropper tube.

The scaffolder was quickly pulled from the water by a rescue boat that had been on standby, and was quickly mobilised following the incident. He was taken to the hospital via the emergency services and discharged on the same day. An investigation is now underway to determine the cause.

RISQS’ Safety Warning

As a result of this, the RISQS has provided key considerations for working in these environments that should be immediately actioned. These include:

  • Always ensuring you are wearing a harness when working at height and know where suitable anchor points are
  • Making sure documented erection and dismantling procedures are in place on site and communicated
  • Wearing life jackets during all scaffold erection, dismantling and alteration works above watercourses
  • Making sure that personal fall protection equipment (such as your harness, lanyard, inertia reel, etc.) is relevant to the task being carried out, as well as being frequently inspected and maintained, and that suitable anchorage points are used
  • Guarantee all control measures are correctly implemented and followed

For further guidance and support on working safely at height when carrying out work over water or on the rail infrastructure, contact the SIMIAN team today.