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Reading scaffolding collapse must have 'full inquiry', says Unite

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Unite the union is calling for an ‘urgent investigation’ into the scaffolding collapse on 1 August in Reading, which left three people injured.


Images posted on Twitter show plumes of dust after the multi-storey scaffold tumbled down and emergency workers treating people lying on the pavement.

The incident occurred on the site of the former Friars Walk Shopping centre on Garrard Street, which is being demolished as part of a £500m housing and retail development.

A witness reported seeing a ‘cloud of smoke’ and people running when the collapse occurred at 11.15am.

Unite has called for an investigation, saying that ‘it is only through luck’ that fatalities have been avoided.

Unite national officer Jerry Swain, said: “A full inquiry must not just include the immediate reasons for the scaffolding collapse but also examine whether the work had been sub-let, were all workers on site properly employed, and did they all have the appropriate skills and training.

“It is essential that we learn the lessons from this accident to prevent similar serious incidents in the future.”

The scaffolding collapse at Reading town centre on 1 August. Photograph: @13uddz / Twitter


Thames Valley Police, the ambulance service and Buckingham Fire and Rescue Service all assisted at the scene, with the latter using thermal imaging equipment to check the rubble for anyone who might have been trapped. There was nobody found.

A site worker and a man and a woman escaped with minor injuries, according to media reports of the event.

An office worker who witnessed the scene said: "It was like a movie. Bricks and wood going flying and a cloud of rubble smoke.

"There was a lady at the end who just didn't make it. It sort of just covered her as it fell,” she said, speaking to the Evening Standard.

An HSE spokesperson told the newspaper: "We are aware of an incident and are making initial inquiries."

ES Report and video at https://bit.ly/2OQYgM6 

 

 

 

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