CROSS Safety Report
Unsafe street lighting columns
This report is over 2 years old
A reporter raises concerns over the poor construction of street light poles and advertisement boards.
Key Learning Outcomes
For asset owners and managers:
Regular inspections and maintenance can help keep a structure safe and identity any obvious safety issues
For civil and structural design engineers:
Selecting the correct fixings and their corrosion protection for the given environment is important to ensure they perform as expected
For construction professionals:
Grouting should be installed as per the construction details and the manufacturers specifications. Talk to their technical details to ensure that you understand the correct grouting procedure.
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An overseas reporter says that majority of street light poles and advertisement board bases in their location are not constructed to the proper standard of safe practice for structural engineering and this creates a potential source of accidents. Errors include inadequate minimum edge distance between concrete face and bolt centres, no grout between base plate and foundations, and no protection to the bolts and base plates (Figure 1). The reporter believes these could affect the safety of road users.
Expert Panel Comments
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Design and construction standards for new street lighting columns have been in use for several years, but older structures still exist, and it is probably these which are the subject of UK press reports. In one town more than 500 lamp posts were deemed to be unsafe and a survey of lamp posts in another found that they were suffering ‘structural failure’ where more than half have been eroded by rain and dogs.
Ten percent of the 6.5m lighting columns in the UK were estimated to be in urgent need of repair or replacement. Steel columns can suffer from fatigue due to wind oscillation, and by the seaside even galvanised post have a very finite life. Corroded lamp posts in particular pose a big risk if they are hit by a vehicle and potentially unsafe columns should be reported to local authority Highways Departments.
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