A Newsletter from CROSS-UK containing reports on structural safety issues.
Note: this Newsletter was published by CROSS (Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety). Since March 2021, Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety is renamed Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS).
Issues with lifting large glazing unit
Inadequate instructions were provided by a glazing pane supplier on how to lift and move their product off of a truck and onto the works.
Importance of bearings
A reporter is concerned that the long-term characteristics and behaviour of bearings are often underestimated.
Actively seeking to identify hazards
A reporter investigating a near miss incident raises concerns that an active prompt to seek out hazards is not being undertaken on innovative construction design and methods.
Inadequate storage of glazing panels
A reporter raises concerns about how glazing panels are being stored on sites. They have witnessed scenarios where panels are not being individually tied back to storage frames or to a secure place.
Installation of PV panels
A reporter's firm believes an oversaturated market of engineers carrying out assessments has drove the prices for assessments on roof structures accommodating PV panels down.
Falling lath and plaster ceiling
A 100 year old lath and plaster ceiling in a shop unit collapsed in part, injuring the shop keeper.
Sudden hole in piling mat
A reporter describes how a 450mm diameter hole appeared in a piling mat whilst digging a trench that was 0.5m away.
Undermined bridge wing wall collapses
A masonry wing wall of a bridge collapsed and fell as a single section coming to rest against an adjacent pile after being undermined on site.
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There are a couple of interesting CROSS reports in this Newsletter. Report 387 "Importance of bearings" struck a particular chord given our recent work replacing the Humber Bridge main span bearings and involvement with emergency works at the Forth Road Bridge just before Christmas: both of which are examples of seized bearings. A reporter wonders "whether any systematic study on the overall issues of bearing assembly and associated requirements has been done". This is very similar to what I was trying to write about in our upcoming CIRIA Report "Hidden defects in bridge components". I really struggled to find good references to cite. The last seminal publication on the subject was Lee's "Bridge Bearings and Expansion Joints" (1994). Clearly time for an update.
In our draft CIRIA report we suggest that bridge bearings and expansion joints require research to provide "up to date review on their current general condition and value to be gained by rolling cycle of replacement": in the absence of UK guidance I quote some German statistics in our report instead.
Some minor comments on report 387:
· Thelwall Viaduct is on the M6, not M62. This is a bridge which also features in our upcoming CIRIA report, though with very little detail: not much has been reported in the public domain due to legal restrictions which is a real pity. The wider industry could learn a lot from knowing more?
· Whilst the CIRIA guide quoted is useful, C543 Bridge detailing guide is perhaps more applicable for this particular area.