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Belfast scaffold fall injures five

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A PATENTED steel scaffolding system is being investigated by the Health & Safety Executive after a collapse which injured five members of a Belfast concreting squad on Sunday.

One man is still in hospital after the accident on the £25M law courts project in Belfast's Oxford Street. The men were pouring part of the building's second floor slab and supporting beams when the support falsework failed, dropping them more than 5m to the floor below.

Firemen rescued two men trapped under the debris.

Three others were only slightly injured. Main contractor Karl Northern has now suspended all work on the main structural frame, pending the results of the HSE investigation.

It is understood that precast concrete permanent shutters were being used for the slab with timber formwork for the beams. HSE Northern Ireland principal construction inspector Ken Logan refused to confirm the identity of the proprietary falsework system in use on the site, saying only that 'investigations into the patented steel system are proceeding and the main contractor is being very co-operative'.

He added: 'We need to interview the injured men as soon as they are well enough, and hope to have the results of our investigations available as soon as possible.'

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