Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

Author Bio ▼

Ian joined Informa (formerly UBM) in 2018 as the Editor of Safety & Health Practitioner. Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in business to business trade print media, in the automotive sector. He was Online Editor and then moved on to be the Editor of two publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.
March 11, 2019

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Scaffolding safety

Scaffolding in high winds: HSE offers reminder of obligation in light of Storm Gareth

High winds have led to the collapse of two large sections of scaffolding in London.

A so-called ‘wall of scaffolding’, which was attached to a block of flats opposite the Royal Free Hospital, collapsed onto the street on Thursday last week.

This was followed by another section which collapsed onto several parked cars in a street in Kensington on Saturday.

Pond Street in Hampstead, where the Royal Free Hospital is situated, was closed on Thursday afternoon, but has since reopened, and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.

Nobody was reported to be injured in either incident, but they have acted as a start reminder of the responsibility of worker and public safety surrounding scaffolding in inclement weather.

Scaffold safety checklist

The HSE states that it is a ‘requirement of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 that unless a scaffold is assembled to a generally recognised standard configuration, the scaffold should be designed by bespoke calculation, by a competent person, to ensure it will have adequate strength, rigidity and stability while it is erected, used and dismantled.’

A Scaffold Checklist, produced by HSE, provides information on what scaffold users and contractors are required to do from the start of the planning process, through design, installation to inspection and supervision.

It states that ‘it is the scaffold users / hirers responsibility to ensure that all scaffolding has been inspected following any circumstances liable to jeopardise the safety of the installation, e.g. high winds.’

‘All scaffolding inspection should be carried out by a competent person whose combination of knowledge, training and experience is appropriate for the type and complexity of the scaffold,’ it adds.

To view the HSE’s Scaffold Checklist in full, click here.


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