Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Workers suspended after climbing down Queensferry Crossing tower

Lift
Image caption The two men climbed out of the lift when it became stuck

Two men working on the new Forth crossing have been suspended after climbing down the outside of a tower after a lift broke 350ft (107m) up.

The Alimak lift of the central tower at the Queensferry Crossing broke down on Thursday at about 14:00 with seven workers inside.

It is understood two men of the men got out of the lift and climbed down the tower. The other five were rescued two hours later.

An investigation is under way.

The workers had been leaving their shift early due to high winds.

Safety procedures

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: "Our contractor FCBC, is currently leading an investigation into the incident.

"Staff were working in safe conditions inside the jump form at the top of Queensferry Crossing's centre tower.

"As wind speeds picked up they elected to descend the tower via the Alimak, rather than using the safer option of the internal tower staircase.

"Safety procedures are in place to rescue employees from the Alimak in all conditions, these were immediately instigated."

He added: "The rescue team successfully carried out the practised rescue drill taking the necessary actions to free the controlled descent mechanism, which allowed those on board to return down the tower safely. The safety team are to be commended for their work.

"The Alimak operational and safety record on this job has been exemplary and at no stage during the incident were the personnel inside the hoist in any danger."

'Extremely serious'

Harry Frew, Scottish Regional Secretary of the Ucatt union, said: "Ucatt is currently trying to establish the facts around the incident that took place on the Forth Crossing yesterday.

"It was clearly extremely serious and our first response is to be relieved that no one appears to have suffered any serious physical injury.

"Ucatt prioritises health and safety campaigns and the union is totally committed to ensuring that all construction workers on the site are protected and that safe systems of work are in place."

He added: "We intend to meet with management at the crossing as soon as possible to build a clear picture of what has happened and we will resolutely support any of our members that have been affected by this incident."

The £1.4bn Queensferry Crossing is due to open in December next year.

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