Scaffolding Collapse in Sandton South Africa; 2 people dead and 19 injured. 15/10/16
The inquiry into the deaths of two construction workers and 19 injured in 2015 is still underway, over a year after the incident there is still no answer or anyone held accountable. A temporary bridge held up by scaffolding collapsed onto vehicles below during rush hour traffic, causing heavy delays and the deaths of the workers.
The bridge was designed as a cycling and pedestrian bridge to cross over the M1 between Alexandra and Sandton. The project cost was estimated R130 million and was touted as a safer and quicker route for travellers to access the two areas easily.
The reason for the collapse of the scaffolding is currently unknown; however, Murray & Roberts and Form-Scaff are playing the blame game over who is responsible for the collapse. A report from an Australian engineering company; among who investigated the collapse, alleges that the fall of the scaffolding was due to couplers (which are used to support and connect a structure) that had not been properly tightened by Murray & Roberts staff.
The report stated that if the couplers had been properly tightened the temporary bridge would have been strong enough to withstand the force of the wind, which resulted in the collapse of the bridge. The inquiry into the collapse of the bridge is set to continue in March 2017.
This is a major skid mark on the reputation of South Africa’s construction industry which seems to be lagging behind other developed countries. South Africa needs to be able to compete with the best in the world and we need to make sure all our regulations and standards are upheld to the highest standards in order to ensure the safety of workers and citizens alike.
Scaffolding Johannesburg‘s CEO Gary Borchet had this to say about the incident: “South Africans are still reporting higher injuries than the international arena; although we do have strict standards and regulations we do not have the right infrastructure to police and implement these standards”.
The South African construction industry is appalled at the lack of care by Form-Scaff and Murray & Roberts, it leaves a blight on the industry whereby companies needing services will start looking outward for solutions to their problems instead of inward.
Thanks for reading.
The Scaffolding Johannesburg Team
UPDATE 14/03/17: The Inquiry into the collapse has still been postponed due to circumstances beyond participants and is now scheduled for May.