Builder impaled by scaffold tube after scaffolding collapses in London


A builder was impaled with a metal pole when the 30ft high scaffolding he was on collapsed, while another construction worker miraculously walked away unharmed from the “carnage” in Bow, East London .

The two men had been fitting a new boiler flue to the roof of a home in Tiber Close, when the scaffolding tipped away from the building and smashed into the back garden below on Thursday afternoon (January 17).newsstory1

Resident John Huxtable, who had taken the day off from his job as an animal warden for Tower Hamlets Council, said: “I was indoors when one of the men ran in wanting to know the door number because he’d dialled 999.

“I hadn’t actually heard the scaffolding collapse, but when I went into the back garden it was carnage. It’s not the normal thing you expect to see in your garden.

“One bloke had slipped off the roof as the scaffolding fell, but he was lucky because he just had a bruised ankle. It was actually his birthday, and some of the other men later joked he’d just had a big birthday bump.

“But a pole went in the shin of the man who’d been up on the scaffold – he had a round indent where the pole had been and he needed lots of stitches. When the ambulance came they were very concerned about his back too, but we later heard that was ok.”

The 54-yar-old rushed inside to grab dressings and bandaged the builder’s leg as best he could.

The worker, who is thought to be in his 50s, began shaking uncontrollably and John covered him with dust blankets to keep him warm before an ambulance arrived to take both builders to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Fire crews and health and safety inspectors came to investigate the site, but the scaffolding was later re-erected and all the building work was finished by Friday.

June Morton, managing director of Old Ford Housing Association which is responsible for the property, said: “Thankfully, no-one was seriously hurt in this incident and no residents were affected.

“We take health and safety extremely seriously and have asked our contractor to carry out a full investigation which we will review carefully.”

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  1. A simple rear domestic independent scaffold that, as the report says, “you don’t expect this to happen”. Scaffolding if erected to industry best practice does not fall over, I do hope the investigation reveals the causation, very pleased to hear the injuries sustained were not life threatening. This incident highlights the seriousness of getting the most simplest of scaffold structures right.