Scaffold collapse at Coventry Skydome firm fined £15K

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A scaffolding company has been fined £15K and £2.5K costs after scaffolding collapsed across the entrance to the car park off Coventry Skydome in high winds.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 3 March 2019, scaffolding, which was approximately 13 metres in length and four metres high and had been erected to protect the public from falling debris, had blown down in high winds.

The four metres high scaffolding, had been erected  to protect the public from falling debris, but instead came plummeting down in strong winds as Storm Freya hit the country in March 2019.

It collapsed right across the entrance to the multi-storey car park in Croft Road and some motorists were trapped inside for an hour-and-a-half before workers arrived to clear it out of the way.

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 scaffolding structure.

Climar Scaffolding Limited of Widney Avenue, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company has been 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.”