The Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety alert to the industry following the fatal scaffolding collapse in Milton Keynes two weeks ago.

The HSE is investigating the accident at the Jurys Inn hotel in Witan Gate, in which one man died and two others were seriously injured. It has called on firms to review scaffolding procedures in the wake of the disaster.

The HSE, which this week termed the accident "catastrophic", has issued the warning to alert those working on similar schemes to the need to review scaffolding arrangements regularly. The HSE is calling on firms to reassess a number of factors, including:

  • Scaffolding design implementation
  • Training and competence of scaffold erectors
  • Intended and actual loadings on scaffolds, including the impact of wind
  • The risk of direct impact by construction plant or vehicles
  • The frequency and thoroughness of scaffold inspection arrangements
  • Having systems in place for the handover of new or adapted scaffolds.
Fifteen floors of scaffolding collapsed in the Milton Keynes accident on Tuesday 11 April, on a site operated by main contractor McAleer & Rushe. Since the accident, it has emerged that scaffolding contractor North Notts was not a member of the National Scaffolding and Access Confederation. Although membership of the body is not compulsory, it is the main route to training and standards certification in the sector.

HSE inspectors have interviewed a number of witnesses and a detailed examination of the incident scene will commence shortly. The construction site remains closed.

?Bovis chairman John Spanswick has been appointed to the Health and Safety Commission. In his role, announced this week by work and pensions minister John Hutton, Spanswick will promote the construction industry's role in HSC strategy and programmes. He will take up his post on 1 May 2006.