Scaffold tower blows off 9th floor of building

An aluminum scaffold tower has been blown off the ninth floor of a construction site in Plymouth.

No-one was working on the lightweight tower which crashed more than 100ft to the ground below.

The tower fell last week from Astor House in Notte Street which is being transformed into new student accommodation by Leadbitter.

A source told the Plymouth Herald: “These towers are very, very lightweight and used for quick access to do jobs like change lightbulbs or paint ceilings.

“There were wind warnings last week so everything loose should have been made secure. You’d think there would have been a full strap and wrap routine as well as stabilisers and outriggers to make it secure.

“Maybe they were and something went wrong.

“But it blew off the roof and landed in a central courtyard. Thankfully it didn’t fall off the other way and land on the road.”

The source added: “I doubt the men’s weight would have been enough to hold it down. If anyone had been on it, they’d probably have gone with it.”

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive said: “We have been made aware of the incident and initial enquiries are continuing.

“However, we have not issued a prohibition notice preventing work from continuing.”

The tower was in no way connected with the fixed scaffolding around the £20m student accommodation project.

A spokesperson from the Leadbitter Group told the Herald they could not comment.

Source: Construction Enquirer

LST Comment: Lightweight towers are used extensively in construction work and are also commonly used on high rise construction sites; the Work at Height Regulations 2005, require specific risk assessments must consider the effects of weather while planning and undertaking such work. Securing the tower is one option, however where the tower is being left unattended it would be beneficial to dismantle it.

May 14, 2013 | Categories: News |
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