Safety warning for stage builds at Olympics and Jubilee

Warning over temporary stages at Olympics and Jubilee
Warning over temporary stages at Olympics and Jubilee

The Institution of Structural Engineers has published a safety alert for those building temporary structures this year, following the collapses of stages at events in Europe and the USA.

The alert includes guidelines for building and monitoring outdoor stages, after seven people were killed at an Indianapolis fair in 2011 when a structure collapsed in a thunderstorm. Five died and 40 were injured at Belgium’s Pukkelpop festival when winds and hailstones destroyed stages last year.

The institution said: "In 2012 there will be many temporary structures erected in the UK to coincide with the Olympic Games, the Queen’s Jubilee and other major events, and engineers associated with these must be vigilant in ensuring that there are no unacceptable risks to workers, performers, or the public."

Venue owners, contractors and insurers are warned to check structures thoroughly before they are built and to monitor wind speeds during an event.

The document says stages often carry heavier loads than they are intended for, due to the weight of staff working on them, wind and snow and AV equipment that is designed to be suspended rather than resting on stages.

It emphasises that all builds should follow the institution’s guidelines, which state: "Temporary stages should be assembled in accordance with engineering documentation that comprises drawings, calculations and specifications all prepared by a competent person. Engineering documentation should be independently checked by a chartered engineer."

The full document can be downloaded here.

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