The engineer responsible for overseeing the erection of the scaffolding when the Grayston Bridge collapsed in 2015 has declined to answer some of the questions put to him at an inquiry on Tuesday for fear of incriminating himself.

According to a report by News 24 Oliver Aadnesgaard, who was working as a candidate engineer at the time of the collapse, claimed that he did not know of any person who designed and approved the drawings of the temporary structure but rather that the drawings were supplied by FormScaff.

“I don’t know”

Aadnesgaard was asked numerous questions around design, inspection and approvals by Grayston bridge collapse inquiry commissioner Phumi Maphaha and other legal representatives and when asked what had caused the collapse his response was: “I don’t know” News 24 reported.

According to IOL Aadnesgaard told the commission that they normally ended work on the bridge at 4am and provided daily work diaries of what had been done.  He said the night before the accident parts of the M1 Freeway were closed.

When asked by Maphaha who authorised the reopening of the road the next day, Aadnesgaard declined to answer saying: “I decline to answer that question as I may incriminate myself.”

No proof of health and safety during construction

Meanwhile on Monday a witness from Nemai Consulting testified that there was no proof produced on site to check whether safety and health was adhered to during the construction of the Grayston bridge temporary structure.

Roxana le Roux, an environmental, health and safety officer told the commission that an inspection register was necessary and needed to be availed on site for inspection. She noted that she was not sure whether the structure was being checked regularly to ensure health and safety and that she had asked site managers to avail the health and safety register on site.

She told the Commission that while a scaffolding officer was appointed, a competency certificate was not available. She further told the Commission that there was also no proof of inspection of scaffolding works. She said these certificates were only made available after the collapse.

Two people died and 19 were injured when the bridge collapsed in October 2015.

The inquiry, which was set up by the Department of Labour, continues on Wednesday.


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