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CROSS Safety Report

Site hoardings blow down

Report ID: 83 Published: 1 October 2007 Region: CROSS-UK

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Overview

Investigations into timber hoarding failures by the reporter’s firm indicated that the majority of site hoardings are erected with no design whatsoever.

Key Learning Outcomes

For construction professionals:

  • Site hoardings are deemed as temporary works and require due attention to ensure their structural stability

  • Having a competent temporary works designer/adviser in place to supply an engineered solution can ensure all temporary works are carefully considered and planned

  • Verification of temporary works erection by a competent person who can oversee and coordinate the whole process can also ensure the works are installed correctly

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A reporter from a large contractor writes to say that a timber hoarding failed in relatively high winds. Investigations into this and others by the reporter’s firm indicated that the majority of site hoardings are erected with no design whatsoever.

Most hoarding suppliers/erectors are, they say, completely unaware of the relevant Code of Practice (BS-6399 Part 2) that should be used as the basis of design. Failures of posts, either by snapping or being uprooted, and of the ply facing due to inadequate fixings poses a risk both to the public and the workforce.

Expert Panel Comments

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It is important that subsidiary items receive due attention to ensure their structural stability. Hoardings can cause significant damage to people and property and should be adequately designed.

Another contractor points out that when hoardings are designed to BS-6399 loads the general comment from the site/suppliers is that the design is too conservative, and that thinner sections and smaller bases have been used elsewhere.

However, it is probable that, even if they stand up for some time, they would not withstand high winds. Site hoarding design should be the responsibility of the Temporary Works Designer and Co-ordinator.

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