China is known for being extremely fast when it comes to the construction of buildings, and usually they accomplish this with little or no safety incidents however last week the collapse of scaffold claimed the lives of 3 workers on a site in Dexing City, near Jiangxi province.
While an investigation into the accident is still under way, it is thought to revolve around questions about what caused the scaffold to collapse in the first place.
At the time of the incident, there were 11 construction workers engaged in work on the site, 2 bodies and were still searching for the third body long after the incident occurred.
This post on ChinaDaily.com.cn explains more:
NANCHANG – The death toll in a construction site scaffold collapse in Dexing City, East China’s Jiangxi province, Wednesday night, has risen to three, as rescuers retrieved the bodies of two more people early Friday.
Rescuers are still searching for the last person trapped in the accident that happened at around 9 pm Wednesday.
There were 11 workers working at the construction site of a convention center at the time of the accident.
Rescuers have brought out eight of them, one of whom died after medical treatment failed. Among the three trapped workers, two were found dead early Friday morning.
An investigation into the accident is under way.
One of the problems that can lead to an unstable scaffold is a lack of competency in the erection of the scaffold. If a competent and qualified person is not used to erect the scaffold, especially if it is 4 metres or higher in height, then the integrity of the structure cannot be confirmed. A certificated scaffolder must be used to erect scaffold where the working platform exceeds 4 metres in height or if the scaffold has cantilevers or outriggers.
These are some of the other issues that compromise scaffold stability and the strategies that can be implemented to avoid them:
- A problem that can cause an unstable scaffold is an unstable foundation or ground or if different scaffold systems are mixed and matched when they shouldn’t be. In these circumstances the scaffolding may collapse, fully or partially and can injure or kill workers both on the structure and below it, as well as other bystanders nearby.
- Another problem occurs when scaffolding components are overloaded, the scaffold can collapse, causing workers to fall from a height or workers to be crushed. Also if the wrong type of scaffold is used for the job, it can collapse especially if the scaffold components are overloaded.
- Scaffolding that is damaged or poorly maintained also has compromised stability which could result in a similar incident as the one in China.
- It is important that those involved in the erection of the scaffold follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter in order to jeopardise it’s stability.
- When erecting base frames and bracing, frames can fall over striking a worker erecting the structure or a pass-by. This can occur when the foundation is not level or not suitable for erection of a scaffold.
- Another possible problem is when castor wheels not adjusted correctly or not locked.