Hospital roof collapse caused by overloading

01 June 2017

An investigation report received by the Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, shows that the roof over the entrance foyer of Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital collapsed as a result of severe overloading.

The MEC on Wednesday released the findings of the investigation that was commissioned immediately after the hospital roof collapsed a few months ago. The collapse happened while contractors were doing waterproofing work as part of the maintenance programme at the hospital.

The investigation has found that although the extent of the overloading cannot be precisely determined, the weight placed on the roof greatly exceeded its design capacity.

The report was prepared by Adams & Adams Attorneys, assisted by engineering firm Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd. The MEC said it contains an assessment of the cause of the incident, as well as legal advice on who should be held liable for the damages caused.

According to the report, the hospital was designed and constructed to a high standard. The primary steelwork is galvanized and is, after 40 years, still in excellent condition.

“The overloading was caused by the stockpiling of crushed stone. The crushed stone was moved to the roof as part of the execution of the waterproofing contract and is specifically provided for in the project specification.

“The intention was for the crushed stone to be removed from the platform roofs, as the new waterproofing was not going to be covered by crushed stone.  

“Regrettably, the crushed stone was stockpiled on the roof above the entrance foyer of the hospital, instead of being taken off the roof through a chute that had been erected for that purpose. The excessive load created as a result caused the roof to collapse,” said the MEC, reading the report. 

The MEC has taken note of the legal advice contained in the report, that it was the contractor’s responsibility to ensure that the project was executed safely and without causing any harm or damage to property.

He said the damage caused to the hospital and the persons that were injured as a result of the incident is viewed in a very serious light, adding that all the necessary steps will be taken to hold those that are responsible fully liable.

The MEC has instructed the legal department to commence the necessary processes as soon as possible.

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