August has definitely lived up to its “Windy Month” status. NSW has experienced much wild weather with incidents affecting the integrity of structures and buildings across the state.
On the 16th of August 2017, two separate incidents affected construction sites from wild wind in Sydney.
In one incident on a residential construction site, a man was killed after a wall, that was under construction was blown over, crushing him and resulting in cardiac arrest.
In the second incident, similar failures occurred with a wall being blown over on a construction site causing a worker critical injuries.
According to ABC News, Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union NSW State Secretary Brian Parker said what happened today was "absolutely appalling"…"Everyone knows about August winds, things have got to be braced,' he said.
Meanwhile on the 21st of August 2017, the winds were again caused havoc in Sydney causing traffic chaos on roads and footpaths. Two people were injured near Wynyard train station after a piece of cladding was blown off a building on Clarence Street striking them.
At newly developed Barangaroo, a large sheet of double-glazed glass fell onto a pedestrian alleyway from the fourth floor of International House. It is unknown if anyone was injured or what caused such a strong and heavy piece of glass to fall.
Event risk management planning must also take into account the impact of adverse weather such as wind. There are numerous examples historically where failures to adequately erect structures to cope with wind gusts have resulted in fatalities. The Indiana State Fair is one high profile example that comes to mind. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2025832/Indiana-State-Fair-Horrific-moment-stage-collapsed-screaming-crowd.html
For larger structures such as marquees, grandstands and temporary fencing it is critical to ensure that they are adequately secured for the worst-case foreseeable weather conditions and that they have been signed off an appropriately qualified engineer.