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CROSS Safety Report

Roof overloading

Report ID: 9 Published: 1 November 2005 Region: CROSS-UK

This report is over 2 years old

Please be aware that it might contain information that is no longer up to date. We keep all reports available for historic reference and as learning aids.


A flat roof with parapets and internal downpipes collapsed after drainage outlets became blocked.

Key Learning Outcomes

For owners and operators:

  • Ensure regular inspections and maintenance are carried out on flat roofs where ponding is likely to occur, especially after heavy rainfall events

  • Regular inspections can help to detect safety issues which need addressing before they become hazardous

Full Report

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The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


There was a report on the collapse of a flat roof with parapets and internal downpipes. There were no overflows and the drainage outlets became blocked with leaves resulting in ponding and over-loading.

Expert Panel Comments

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Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.

An obvious problem that should not have occurred but serves as a reminder about the inherent risk from such roofs and the importance of maintenance throughout the life of a building for it to remain safe. Maintenance information should be in the health and safety file.

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