No design and inadequate ties lead to scaffolding collapse

Scaffolding collapse coventry
Scaffolding collapsed across the car park entrance. Credit: Twitter/Phil Bray

A scaffolding contractor has been hit with a £15,000 fine after scaffolding collapsed across the entrance to the car park of Coventry Skydome.

The Birmingham based firm erected scaffolding, which was approximately 13 metres in length and four metres high to protect the public from falling debris.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard that on the 3rd of March 2020, the structure collapsed in high winds during Storm Freya trapping motorists for hours in the Skydome’s car park.

Luckily, no members of the public or motorists were passing under as it fell – which would almost certainly have caused severe damage, injury or even death.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the scaffolding was not adequately fixed into the structure and was not designed and installed to withstand foreseeable wind loads.

The management of the scaffolding operation was well below the expected standard because it did not identify the need for a bespoke design, required to ensure the strength and stability of the proposed structure, the HSE said.

Climar Scaffolding Limited of Widney Avenue in Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,532.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Edward Fryer said: “Scaffolds need to be adequately tied, in line with the recognised health and safety requirements or a bespoke design should be created based on established engineering principals. In this case the scaffolding was not properly designed or adequately tied into the permanent structure.

“It’s only a matter of fortune that nobody was seriously injured, the collapse presented a significant risk to the safety of the public.”