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Contractor Narrowly Escapes Eastside Accident

Jun 06 2008 21:10
Ashley Brown
A contractor working on the Eastside project has narrowly escaped serious injury, after a concrete block fell over onto an occupied scissor lift.
The scissor lift was left lying on its side by the accident, later to be craned away

The safety record for the Eastside project appears to have taken a turn for the worse today, as a contractor working on the project narrowly escaped a falling concrete beam.

At around 5:15pm this evening a concrete block, apparently destined to be part of the structure of the building, fell from an upright position into the Eastside site. On its way down it struck a scissor lift, with the occupant of said lift only escaping as it fell over thanks to a warning shouted by somebody else on the site.

The scene being cleared

The occupant of the scissor lift was apparently unhurt, as no ambulance attended the scene and the site was cleared within 20 minutes. The lift itself was left lying on its side, later to be removed by one of the on-site cranes, with the concrete block removed in the same manner.

The Southside project, constructed by the same team, had an excellent safety record in general. The major blot on the landscape came after a small crane fell over within the site, having to be rescued by another crane brought in for that purpose. The crane was returned to the manufacturer for extensive analysis to determine the cause of the failure.

Eastside, like Southside, is being project managed by Arup, with Laing O'Rourke as the principal contractor.

No-one from College was immediately available to comment.

Would any Civil Engineers care to comment (not on my lack of engineering terminology though).

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Discussion about “Contractor Narrowly Escapes Eastside Accident”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. JJ   
Jun 07 2008 08:58

They're using prefabricated columns. This is very unusual.

From the picture it looks like they slide the column down two pieces of reinforcement bar and are then just left in place under they're own weight until the floor slab above is cast.

This seems inherently unstable because the column is not attached to the reinforcement. This is not standard practise. A knock from a crane or another piece of plant could easily knock it over a column.

The norm is to cast columns in place. This means that the reinforcement coming up from the slab is set into the concrete at the base of the column. This way it's got much more strength if it gets hit.

I'm guessing they've taken risks because of time.

2. lul   
Jun 07 2008 19:53

scissor lift is a funny name

3. no JJ   
Jun 08 2008 10:10

Pre fab columns are increasingly common in low rise construction and since the late 80s, early 90s buildings require a certain level of connectivity throughout to stop disproportionate collapse. The question is, if a pre fab column is secured when built, why was it left unsecure, yet upright on site?

4. JL   
Jun 08 2008 10:22

The similar blocks seen in the background of the second picture clearly have stabilisers attached to them, perhaps they were in the process of stabilising the block when the accident happened.

Jun 08 2008 11:52

Ugh, boring engineer talk.

Jun 08 2008 14:45

Damn, why did it have to miss him? I wish a few more would fall over as maybe that would shut them up especially at 8am every morning (inc Saturday!)

Jun 10 2008 13:07

news is obviously very slow this week huh Ash?

Jun 10 2008 13:36

News is quite slow this week, but someone nearly being killed on the Eastside site counts as proper news. Especially as it appears they were taking shortcuts with regards to propping the columns temporarily.

9. Bells   
Jun 10 2008 22:48

are they actually allowed to have noise on a saturday.. ? you should check the regs... in k+c the work hours are 8-6 weekdays only!!

sucks to have sats too :(

10. JJ   
Jun 14 2008 08:21

I still maintain that these aren't widely used.

So was my guess at construction right? They seem to have a pretty c**p connection at the bottom. Do you just grout them in and hope? With these prefab things there appears to be no starter bars at all.

"buildings require a certain level of connectivity throughout to stop disproportionate collapse" Well yes ... and you'll get more of it by casting in-situ.

Jun 14 2008 10:26

Eastside is not in the Royal Borough it is in Westminster where anything goes.

Jun 15 2008 09:03

90% of campus is in Westminster. dumbass.

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