Safety Alert – Near Miss / Potential Incident – Short gutter lengths
Global-MSI has recently been involved in a petrol station project that required canopy work. Whilst working at roof level our Engineers reported that the canopy gutters ‘dropped’ in level as they moved across the roof. On closer inspection and when compared with our own original construction drawings it is clear that the gutters have been replaced in far shorter sections.
The attached photographs show the gutters laid out to reproduce the situation on the canopy roof. Along side the replacement gutters, a representation of the original gutters has been made. Our observations are as follows:
- The canopy was supplied with 2 runs of gutters. Each run is ca. 15m long (the width of the canopy) and made up of 2 lengths of gutter. The original gutters were jointed at a rafter position, thus giving support to both lengths of gutter.
- The rafter positions are shown by the white-coloured steel beams.
- As the original design had only 4 gutter lengths, there were only 2 joints.
- Each gutter run has been replaced with 6 lengths of gutter, so the canopy now has 12 lengths of gutter not 4.
- There are now 10 gutter joints rather than 2. The potential for leaking gutter joints has therefore increased 5-fold.
- In fact there is a greater chance of one of the gutter joints leaking as several gutters are unsupported and joints will tend to open up over time.
- The company that has replaced the gutters has acknowledged that short gutter lengths are a problem by attempting to brace the joints with a thin galvanised channel section.
- The replacement gutters are of thinner gauge than the original material. · The replacement gutters to this canopy represented a potential fall from height hazard
- All Global teams have been made aware of the requirement to check gutters on all future projects
Global-MSI has become increasingly concerned over the standard of canopy repair and maintenance work carried out by non-specialists on petrol forecourts. For further information please refer to: This Article