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CROSS Safety Alert

Tension systems and post-drilled fixings

Region: CROSS-UK, CROSS-AUS, CROSS-US Published: 1 March 2014


Lining failures occurred in the Boston (Big Dig) tunnel in 2006, in the Balcome rail tunnel in the UK in 2011 and in Japan’s Sasago tunnel (2012); all related to the use of unsuitable fixings. CROSS have also published reports of a number of heavy ceiling failures in cinemas and other venues.

There are many structures incorporating tension systems in safety critical situations. Some may not have been inspected for years and there could have been deterioration which has not been seen and it is not safe to assume that simply having had a long service means the fixings are secure.

Recommendations are given for checking existing fixings and the selection and installation of resin bonded anchors.

Note: this Safety Alert was published by SCOSS (Standing Committee on Structural Safety). Since March 2021, SCOSS is integrated under the name Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS).

Who should read this?

Those who design, construct, inspect or maintain structures that have elements or components relying on tension to hold them in place. Owners, Principal Designers, civil and structural engineers, Principal Contractors, contractors, engineers, local authority building control officers.

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