Construction News: Bridge Collapse Investigation Result, UK Construction Company Fined £65k, and Half a Million Given for Women in Construction

November 7, 2019 | Celen Ebru Paytoncular

From Australia's active efforts to allow women access to construction roles, to the cause of a pedestrian bridge collapse in Florida, we round up all of the top stories and developments in the industry.

FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse: Flawed Design to Blame

The Florida International University pedestrian bridge that collapsed last year in March resulted in six deaths, eight injuries and eight vehicles crushed beneath it. 

The USA's National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have concluded that design errors made by Figg Bridge Engineers are likely the cause of the collapse, as well as an inadequate peer review by Louis Berger which failed to detect calculation errors. 

The NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt stated: "FIGG Bridge Engineers severely underestimated the demand on the bridge, significantly overestimated the bridge’s capacity ... among other calculation errors. But another structure failed in this accident, the structure of public safety oversight."

Read more about this story here.

UK Firm Fined £65,000 After Carpenter Suffers Nerve Damage in Fall

A 36-year-old carpenter suffered nerve and tissue damage to his lower back after a fall from height while working for MP Building Limited in 2017. The carpenter climbed up to remove a nail from a brace holding trusses, one of which fell and consequently caused him to fall with it. 

Raised safety decking inside the building did not sufficiently cover the whole area as there were significant gaps. The company had a risk assessment for working at height, although an investigation by the HSE found that this was 'generic'. 

The Hertfordshire construction company was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay £6,298.82 in costs. 

More details on this story here. 

Edinburgh Council Publishes Plan To Make City Carbon Neutral By 2030

daniil-vnoutchkov-c_s23W8ZqFg-unsplash-compressorThe 'short window improvement plan' outlines 37 immediate and short-term actions across all areas of Edinburgh Council business, including planning, transport, housing, energy, education, tourism, culture, festivals, economic development, waste/recycling, parks, biodiversity, communities and partners. 

The plan highlights the actions the Council will take while a city sustainability strategy is developed with partners and published in 2020.

The Council's immediate action plan includes proposals to: 

  • accelerate the transition to electric vehicles within the Council's fleet and expand and accelerate provision of electric vehicle charging infrastructure
  • carry out a targeted energy efficient retrofit of the Council’s operational buildings and commit to Passivhaus Standard as the default standard for all Council newbuilds across the operational estate
  • increase the use of green infrastructure within new and existing infrastructure developments in order to increase permeability and cooling effects in the city

More details on the Council's plan can be found here.

Australian Construction Industry Receives Half a Million to Help Women Enter The Industry



The Andrews Government will invest $500,000 in Victoria's construction industry over three years in the state's first Women in Construction Strategy. The money will be used to create an online jobs portal which will connect women with construction roles and provide career counselling, resume services, and recruitment training.

Women currently make up 2% of Australia's construction workforce, despite 1 in 10 jobs in Victoria being in the building industry; construction is the most male-dominated sector in the country. A new training program developed by the Victorian Trades Hall Council will educate workers and employers about gender bias on construction sites, and a new set of recruitment standard practices for the industry will be implemented.

CMA Cracks Down on Construction Companies Breaking Competition Law

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has fined three companies for breaking competition law of the British concrete drainage product market between 2006 and 2013. 

FP McCann Ltd, a Northern Ireland-based firm was fined £25M

Stanton Bonna Concrete, a Derbyshire-based company was fined £7M

CPM Group Ltd, a Somerset-based firm was fined £4M

Stanton Bonna Concrete and CPM Group Ltd received lesser fines as they admitted their involvement and their fines were subsequently reduced. FP McCann Ltd was required to pay a much larger fine after recordings of senior executives from each firm discussing the arrangement were discovered by the CMA.

The three companies involved manufactured pre-cast concrete products, including drainage pipes, which are required for large projects, such as the construction of roads and railways, and water management networks. It was discovered that the companies created a monopoly in their market by coordinating prices, sharing the market through the allocation of customers, and regularly exchanging competitively sensitive information.

Boost Your Career and Liaise With America's Top Industry Professionals at Women in Construction USA

women attendees sitting in meeting hall listening to Women in Construction Summit conference speaker holding notepads and coffee

Women in Construction Summit will return to London in June 2020 for a third year, brought to you by the creators of Europe's largest conference series dedicated to driving gender diversity and empowering women. 

Over two days, 1400+ attendees will have access to inspiring keynotes, skill-building workshops and dedicated networking events. You’ll leave empowered with practical tools to tackle both personal and professional hurdles, and with connections who have faced the same challenges as you.

Download your brochure for more information!