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Thu June 24 2021

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Firm fined for Fulham scaffold collapse

11 Jul 13 A Surrey company has been fined £10,000 after a length of scaffolding collapsed onto a busy Fulham Street, blocking a lane but missing pedestrians and traffic.

Scaffolding after the collapse in Lillie Road, Fulham
Scaffolding after the collapse in Lillie Road, Fulham

The collapse happened at lunchtime on a normally busy thoroughfare, just a short distance from a nursery and local schools.

Alliance Building & Contracting Ltd, of Weybridge, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation into the incident on 3 October 2011 identified safety failings.

Westminster Magistrates' Court was told that the firm, which is now in voluntary liquidation, was the principal contractor for a demolition and build project at a site in Lillie Road, Fulham. A 16m-length of scaffolding collapsed and fell from the first floor level to the ground below, covering the pavement and an entire traffic lane.

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HSE found that Alliance Building & Contracting Ltd had failed to properly manage the demolition phase of the work. The scaffold had been on the building site for a year and been left free-standing long after demolition had finished. The site had been left unattended for long periods and regular inspections of the scaffold for safety had not taken place.

Alliance Building & Contracting Ltd, of Monument Hill, Weybridge, was found guilty in their absence of a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Magistrates imposed a fine of £10,000 with costs of £7,190.

Speaking after the hearing, inspector Charles Linfoot said: "Scaffold collapses are infrequent in the construction industry, but when they occur, they often cause serious injury, fatalities and major damage. Lillie Road is a busy one and it is a matter of chance that the collapse, brought about by the safety failures of Alliance Building & Contracting, did not have more serious consequences. The case shows how important it is to actively manage all the risks on a construction site and, in particular, to make sure inspections of scaffolding are carried out regularly."

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