Grayston inquiry

DOL postpones Grayston bridge collapse inquiry

The Department of Labour (DOL) has announce that the sitting of the M1/Grayston Drive Pedestrian and cyclist structural bridge collapse inquiry that was scheduled for end of March 2017 has been postponed due to technical challenges affecting the proceedings. The inquiry will resume from 4 May 2017 to 9 June 2017.

The bridge collapsed on 14 October 2015 leading to the death of two people; and injury to 19 persons.

Proceedings of the inquiry were previously brought to a halt on 29 August 2016 by the Presiding Officer , Lennie Samuel when one of the interested parties had on “short notice” made a request for additional information from an expert witness representing Form-Scaff. The expert witness in question was still on the stand providing testimony. The inquiry felt the request could not be acceded to because the information requested could not be secured immediately as the witness was residing abroad.

Form-Scaff, a supplier of formwork, support work and scaffolding was one of the role players in the construction of a walkway bridge that was to link Sandton and Alexandra. Other interested parties involved in the project were the City of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Development Agency who were clients that appointed Royal HaskoningDHV as an agent. Murray & Roberts is the principal contractor and the supplier of material.

Expected to testify when the inquiry resumes is a witness on behalf of FormScaff, Gary Farrow, a mechanical engineer from Australia. To date four witnesses representing Murray & Roberts have testified. More testimony is still expected from Murray & Roberts, Form Scaff, Royal HaskoningDHV, consultants and the JDA.

The bridge collapse inquiry is mandated to investigate but, not limited to the following:

  • The responsibility of the client in terms of construction regulations
  • The responsibility of the principal constructor in terms of the construction regulations and as an employer
  • The responsibility of the agent on behalf of the client in terms of the same regulations
  • Supplier of materials
  • Design

The DOL set-up the Section 32 Inquiry to unearth the causes for the collapse of scaffolding work on the bridge. The investigation is being held in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act.

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