SafeWork SA has reminded operators to use or install void scaffolds to ensure that they meet the minimum specifications set out in Australian Standard 1576.1.
The safety alert follows an incident in September in which two workers at a residential construction site fell 3.6 metres to the ground after the stairwell void scaffold they were standing on collapsed. Both workers suffered injuries.
Preliminary investigations by the regulator suggest that:
- there was a catastrophic failure of the void scaffold support bracket due to an existing fault;
- incorrect fasteners were in place to prevent the accidental dislodgement of the support brackets;
- the void scaffold components were imported and not manufactured to meet the minimum Australian scaffold standards; and
- the void scaffold was poorly designed and installed.
SafeWork SA has published information on how to manage risks associated with stairwells, atriums and voids on its website.