Forensic Investigation

Single Abstract

341697 - An investigation into collapse of a large scaffold

Saturday, April 21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: 202B

On November 4, 2008, a 180-foot tall scaffold collapsed as it was being installed inside of a boiler, measuring approximately 46 by 52 feet in plan. At the time of the incident, the installation of the scaffold was substantially complete. The incident caused one fatality and several injuries.

The authors investigated the collapse at the request of the attorneys representing the supplier of the scaffold components. To investigate the collapse, the authors performed field observations; reviewed the scaffold drawings, scaffold test reports, calculations, and relevant codes and standards; and performed linear and nonlinear structural analysis and calculations.

This presentation explains the method of the investigation, provides the key findings of the investigation, and illustrates the likely cause of the collapse.

Ibrahim Erdem

Managing Engineer

Dr. Erdem specializes in evaluation, failure investigation, and repair of structures. He has significant experience in condition assessment of buildings and industrial structures, repair design, effects of adjacent construction, diagnosis of construction and design defects, and evaluation of building components compliance with applicable building codes and standards. His investigations have included evaluation of reinforced concrete, light-gage steel, masonry, wood and composite construction, as well as evaluation of means of egress, and building envelope. Dr. Erdem has developed repair/strengthening techniques for masonry walls, concrete structures and steel members. As part of his investigations, Dr. Erdem often utilizes state-of-the-art computer modeling to determine the behavior of complex structural systems under extreme loading.


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David Peraza

Principal Engineer



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Rahul Ratakonda

Senior Engineer
Exponent Engineering P.C



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341697 - An investigation into collapse of a large scaffold

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