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Safety advice issued for use of scaffolding

Date: 1st August, 2019

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging builders and contractors to ensure that their scaffolding is secure, following an incident earlier this week.

Firefighters were called when youths were seen on a roof in Bournemouth; fortunately, no rescue was required on this occasion.

Group Manager Katie Cornhill said: “When we inspected the area, we established that access had been gained via scaffolding and the youths had then been able to cross over several flat roofs before being seen. Obviously, there is an issue of trespass and the potential for criminal damage, but there was also a huge risk to them and their safety.

“Had they got stuck, it would have required the fire and rescue service to rescue them. Had they slipped or been injured, resources from both fire and ambulance would have been needed. Anyone using scaffolding can help reduce these risks by ensuring that the frame can’t be easily climbed out of working hours.”

GM Cornhill also urged scaffolding providers to ensure that their contact details are attached to the frames: “On this occasion, there was no phone number, so we had to go back to the site on the following day to flag up what had happened. It would have saved a lot of time and resources had we been able to just make a phone call.”

Police Sergeant Ashley White, of Bournemouth Police, said: “We will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to take action against anti-social behaviour and will work to identify people spotted trespassing on roofs. It should be nothing short of obvious that climbing onto the roof of any building is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. Anything builders and contractors can do to make it harder for people to access their sites will be welcomed.”

Further advice about scaffolding can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/ladders-and-scaffold-security.htm

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