Another construction site collapse has occurred but this time on the other side of the globe. A collapse in China has resulted in the death of 8 people and landed another 20 workers in a serious condition in hospital.
This incident is another example of the fragility of incomplete structures which is exacerbated by bad weather conditions. For this reason the risk needs to be managed at every stage of construction and lateral supports need to be installed to help the structure remain sturdy throughout the construction process.
It is not known whether this was done on the Chinese construction site in question but this is what a post on ChinaDaily.com.cn had to say:
A collapse at a construction site in Shenmu county, Shaanxi province, killed eight people and injured 20 on Thursday morning.
Official sources from the county said the accident occurred at about 8 am and buried 28 workers who were working at the construction site. All the trapped workers were removed from the wreckage by firefighters and police by around 10 am.
One worker died at the site after being removed from the wreckage. The other 27 were taken to a local hospital. Seven died in hospital from serious injures later that day. The others were in stable conditions. The accident clean-up is ongoing and the cause of the incident is under investigation.
Reinforcing structures is the best way to ensure that buildings remain sturdy regardless of ground movement, vibration, bad weather etc. Reinforcing structures can be done using a variety of reinforcement materials such as deformed bars, plain bars, wire, fabric (mesh) and steel products, all of which increase the tensile and compressive stress carrying properties of concrete.
In addition to ensuring structural stability, these materials also assist in the prevention of cracks in concrete structures which is a common occurrence.
One type of reinforcement is Reinforcing Bar which is usually manufactured in coiled form, another form is reinforcing mesh.
One of the issues relating to structural collapse is ensuring that unstable structures do not present a hazard to the public or other workers. For this reason it is important to allocate exclusion zones that exclude unauthorised workers, visitors or the public from the area that would be affected by a potential collapse. Workers not involved in work on the structure do not need to be in its vicinity and should be kept away for their safety until the structure’s stability can be ensured.
A major issue relating to structural collapse is bad weather such as wind and rain. Wind can cause an unstable building to collapse and rain can cause the ground to become softened and unstable causing a collapse of the concrete has not dried fully. Workers should keep an eye out for any hazardous weather conditions in order to be prepared beforehand. This will allow workers to provide extra support for the structure if necessary, bad weather can be an extremely destructive force.