The importance of using structural propping and supports that meet the relevant competencies of temporary works in regeneration projects was revealed in a dramatic way at the end of March. At around 1am a five bedroom home near Kingston Hill in South West London collapsed, leaving a pile of rubble in an excavated basement space. The property had been valued at £1.15 million in April 2016.

The excavation work beneath the property was being done to create an iceberg basement, a huge new space that would have been home to an additional bedroom and a playroom. It is initially believed that the work had gone ahead without guidance or approval. A building regulations application was submitted just a few days prior to the collapse. This means it is highly likely the excavation was already done.

The incident has been reported to the Health and Safety Executive. They will investigate the matter and determine the cause of the issue and who is liable. Kingston Council will also be investigating and ensuring the remaining structure is safe. Only a few parts of it remain standing but they will need support to ensure they don’t collapse and put people in harm’s way.

From first look it does seem that the incident has occurred because of incorrect use of temporary works or utilising those that didn’t meet the competencies set by HSE. In addition the fact that the roof had been removed from the property may have played a huge role in the collapse.

The story is further news of how important it is to seek permission in a timely manner and take account of the advice and recommendations that are provided. Moving ahead with a project too quickly can lead to huge issues. Luckily nobody was inside the property when it collapsed and residents of neighbouring homes were safe too. The financial impact will be huge though.

At Denon Construction we always stay up to date regarding the competencies of temporary works and ensure the projects we are involved in progress in the correct manner. If you have any questions please contact us.