Scaffolding Collapses at Gold Coast Shopping Centre

Scaffolding has collapsed at a shopping centre on the Gold Coast which has triggered a series of safety inspections across the state.

The workplace health and safety authority Queensland is currently investigating the cause of the collapse. Luckily no one was injured in the incident. Authorities have warned that the safe erection and dismantling of scaffolding is a particularly important issue which contractors need to be aware of. Read what happened according to a post from SafetyCulture.com.au

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland are investigating, along with the construction company, why scaffolding that was a part of a new car park collapsed on Sunday.

All work has been stopped at the site until the investigation is complete, there was nobody injured on in the collapse.

David Hanna, the Builders Labourers Federation state secretary, said that scaffolding on projects in the state will be checked.

He said that this incident highlights the need for safe and correct erection and dismantling of scaffolding. The incident could have been a disaster if it had happened on a work day or if somebody walking or driving by had been injured.

Source: http://content.safetyculture.com.au/news/

When attempting to avoid collapse of scaffolding, select and install scaffolding components that are suitable for the task at hand and take into consideration the sequence of the construction processes.

Principal contractors should provide and maintain adequate means of attaching the scaffolding to the supporting structure so that it can withstand heavy wind, workers weight and movement etc.

Employers need to develop a safe system of work which is one that allows construction activities such as bricklaying, painting, installations etc. to be completed without any unplanned changes to the scaffolding and does not require the removal of scaffolding ties.

Work should occur in the correct sequence for example from top to bottom of the building which will allow the scaffolding to be progressively dismantled as work progresses.

Never overload the scaffolding with excessive amounts of materials, be aware of the weight limits of scaffolding structures.

Ensure that the scaffolding is able to withstand any anticipated loads or forces such as strong winds or storms.

Adequate ties and sufficient bracing are vital to ensuring the stability of scaffolding.

To prevent collapse of the scaffold, to secure vertical members together laterally and to automatically square and align vertical members, scaffolds must be braced by:

  • Cross-braces,
  • Horizontal braces,
  • Diagonal braces, or
  • A combination of braces

To prevent movement of the scaffold while it is being used in a stationary position, scaffold casters and wheels must be locked with:

  • Positive wheel locks, and/or
  • Wheel and swivel locks, or
  • Similar means

Scaffolding should only be erected and dismantled by competent workers, trained to do so.

Workers on construction sites remember:

  • You have a right to request safety equipment appropriate for working on or near scaffolding.For workers on the ground near suspended platforms, they should have hard hats and proper clothing and footwear to shield them from falling objects that can be dropped off platforms.
  • Workers on the scaffolding should wear the proper fall protection equipment, check that it is functional, and not wearing out before starting their work

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