Last week, scaffolding maintenance workers were rescued from the 56th floor of the Hearst Tower after the building platform snapped in the middle.
The building’s odd shape called for a custom model from Tractel-Swingstage consisting of a 420-foot elevated steel track off a 40-foot mast with a hydraulic arm holding the telescopic cleaning basket with wires monitored by electromechanical sensors.
Tractel is under scrutiny because of a 2007 accident in which a scaffolding structure plummeted 47 stories killing one worker. Tractel was found in violation for failing to maintain the scaffold.
High-rise scaffolding rescues and accidents are often the result of faulty or outdated support systems or poor operator training.
CSG President, Casey Pearce, explained, “A safe working environment for individuals working at heights is OSHA compliant supports, suspension and safety systems. Those systems need to be certified annually and even experienced workers need to have documented professional operator training.“
U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigate any incident to determine whether the situation is the result of non-compliant procedures, support system failure or operator error. So far the cause of last week’s incident has not been determined but will likely be closely reviewed.