Temporary stage structures – alert

Published: 01/02/2012

The Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) has published an alert on temporary stage structures.

The alert is aimed at those who may commission or procure or licence temporary stages and other temporary structures, for example large outdoor TV screens, which pose a potential risk to the public.

These may include owners of sites and venues, promoters, contractors and their designers, local authority licensing officers and building control officers, and insurers.

Alastair Soane, SCOSS Director 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.

‘Engineers associated with these must be vigilant in ensuring that there are no unacceptable risks to workers, performers, or the public.’

In 2011 the issue of temporary structure safety was brought to the fore when a series of stage collapses occurred during the summer in Belgium, Indiana and Canada.

Following the incidents Peter Hind, Fellow of the Institution of Structural Engineers’ and Chairman of the Advisory Group on Temporary Structures (AGOTS) warned the entertainment industry to be vigilant.

He said: ‘The guidance and standards regarding temporary structures have been used by the entertainment industry for many years. These types of incidents should be avoidable if their use is widespread and vigilant'

The Institution works closely with SCOSS which is an independent body established to maintain a review of building and civil engineering matters affecting the safety of structures.

You can access reports, alerts and guidance issued by SCOSS from the Structural-Safety website. www.structural-safety.org

In the UK, the industry is advised to use the Institution guidance: Temporary demountable structures: Guidance on procurement, design and use. The publication is available from the Institution book shop.

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