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Scaffolding Collapse on Newcastle’s Old Odeon Cinema

26th April 2017

A disused cinema in the centre of Newcastle, which was in the process of being demolished, collapsed unexpectedly when scaffolding fell. Scaffolding and debris from what was left of the old cinema building was strewn across the city centre road. A bus shelter was also crushed in the incident.

Scaffolding Collapse

Fortunately, no one was killed or even injured in the incident which clearly could have been far more serious. The accident happened at approximately 11pm on a Monday evening and according to local press reports, the southbound side of the street was closed to traffic at the time of the incident. Despite the time of day and a partial road closure, the scaffolding had missed onlookers by just metres and photos of the scene clearly show that it was extremely lucky that no one was hurt.

The police cordoned off the road and a clean-up began. Contractors worked through the night to clear the road and ensure the site was safe. By 7am the next morning the clean-up was complete and the road was able to reopen.

What caused the scaffolding to collapse is still not clear and HSE are carrying out an investigation into what happened and are monitoring the building site.  There were workers on site at the time and on this occasion adverse weather conditions do not appear to be to blame. Once HSE have completed their investigations we will know more. However, the incident does serve as a reminder of the importance of ensuring that scaffolding is erected properly, is stable and has been thoroughly inspected. Regular scaffolding inspections by a fully qualified, independent inspector can help to identify any potential issues with scaffolding before accidents happen and can be crucial to maintaining safe scaffolding on sites.

We can help with independent scaffolding inspections and scaffolding safety audits. If you would like to find out more please give us a call on 0845 602 2418 or drop us an email hello@simian-risk.com.