Queensferry Bridge workers suspended after daredevil climb

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
Share

Two workers on the Queensferry Crossing have been suspended after climbing down the outside of the central pylon following a hoist failure in high winds ahead of storm Abigail.

Seven workers left their jump-forming shift early on Thursday afternoon as winds picked up but they became trapped when the hoist broke down 107m up from the deck section.

It is understood two men panicked fearing for their lives and climbed out of a hatch on top of the lift cage and clambered down the steel running mast using it as a ladder.

The other five remained in the lift and were rescued two hours later.

An enquiry in now underway to find out why the men chose to use the hoist in high winds rather the internal staircase.

A worker on the bridge who asked to remain anonymous told STV News: “They were absolutely terrified. They thought they were going to be killed.

“They had just started coming down for their dinner and were still nearly at the top of the tower when a wire snapped and a wheel came off the lift. The other wires got twisted.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “Our contractor FCBC, is currently leading an investigation into the incident.

“Staff were working in safe conditions inside the jump form at the top of Queensferry Crossing’s centre tower.

“As wind speeds picked up they elected to descend the tower via the Alimak, rather than using the safer option of the internal tower staircase.

“Safety procedures are in place to rescue employees from the Alimak in all conditions, these were immediately instigated.”

He added: “The rescue team successfully carried out the practised rescue drill taking the necessary actions to free the controlled descent mechanism, which allowed those on board to return down the tower safely.”

He added that hoists were fully compliant with UK LOLER regulations and routine checks were carried out daily and weekly.

Harry Frew, Scottish Regional Secretary of the Ucatt union, said: “The workers, they panicked. They thought we are in real danger here, this thing could drop.

“Imagine what was going through their minds. People take actions they shouldn’t do, or actions to save their lives.”

He added: “We intend to meet with management at the crossing as soon as possible to build a clear picture of what has happened and we will resolutely support any of our members that have been affected by this incident.”

Bridge pier Queensferry
Earlier picture of central pylon where hoist broke down 107m above the bridge deck

Latest news

Pay row set to escalate on HS2 enabling works site

Dispute set to intensify over rates paid by labour supplier
11 hours ago

VINCI starts work on new £100m Birmingham hospital

Contractor gets underway on three-year build programme
5 hours ago

Four civils firms scoop £2.6bn flood and coastal framework

Kier breaks into Environment Agency preferred contractors list
11 hours ago

Costain making engineers redundant at tech centre

Contractor cutting jobs at technology division it bought for £17m in 2016
11 hours ago

Dozen firms win £500m City of London deal

Morgan Sindall, Osborne and Speller Metcalfe among winners
11 hours ago

New £3m fund to improve construction procurement

Companies invited to bid for cash grants in CITB-led efficiency drive
11 hours ago

Green light for vast Nottingham Boots Island scheme

Developer Conygar plans to build a 2m sq ft mixed-use scheme
10 hours ago

Goldman Sachs bankrolls Brum’s tallest resi project

Builder Sisk can now start work on 42-storey Broad Street skyscraper
10 hours ago

SME contractors agree 2.75% pay deal for workers

Annual pay increase will see hourly craft rates rise to £12.79
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
12 months ago

Lakehouse subbie goes after Sureserve for cash

Specialist wins adjudication award after contractor goes bust
1 day ago

Firms on alert for M4 Newport £185m enabling works

Bidders day planned ahead of July invitation to tender
1 day ago

Robertson hires Laing O’Rourke infrastructure ops director

Bryan Glass will head Robertson's civil engineering business in Scotland
1 day ago

Wates starts £24m Shoreham flood defence

Enabling works to pave way for 540-home Free Wharf scheme
1 day ago

£400m Eastern Highways Framework up for renewal

Essex County Council to invite bids for third generation framework in June
1 day ago

Countryside chief operating officer exits

Rebecca Worthington steps down as Countryside reports strong first half trading
1 day ago

Willmott Dixon chalks up £20m Liverpool nursing school

Liverpool John Moores University Tithebarn building and library to be extended and refurbished
1 day ago

Boy, 12, falls from scaffold ladder on poorly guarded site

Ten metre fall inflicts life-changing injuries on boy
2 days ago

Galliford Try profit warning sparks construction arm review

Firm warns profits will be £40m below forecasts after Queensferry Crossing hit
2 days ago

Morgan Sindall boosts north west leadership team

Growth drive sees new directors appointed in Manchester and Liverpool
2 days ago

Walter Lilly wins £55m London medical HQ project

Renew Group building specialist signs preconstruction services agreement
2 days ago

Autumn start for Mount Anvil’s largest ever scheme

Green light for 800-home Royal Eden Docks scheme in East London
2 days ago

Laing O’Rourke strategy boss joins Royal BAM

Simon Finnie steered strategy at Laing O'Rourke and Kier over six years
2 days ago

New Structure Tone division lands first major deal

Detail & Build team bags fit-out for new owners of Heron House
2 days ago

New Kier chief sets out to streamline £4bn group

Andrew Davies launches strategic review to simplify business and improve cash flow
3 days ago

McAleer & Rushe closes in on £400m turnover

Hotel specialist delivers further growth and £17m pre-tax profit
3 days ago

Construction’s most considerate sites revealed

Best performing contractors confirmed: Full details
4 days ago

Infrastructure clients lead drive to eliminate site accidents

Major push to end injuries and illness caused by seven key site risks
3 days ago

Rogue roofer found guilty of fraud

Court hears "abysmal" repairs charged at £38,000 were worth just £250
7 days ago

Engie names new UK chief executive

Nicola Lovett takes helm at UK and Ireland business in May
3 days ago

Contractor services