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Ground floor slab being extended to form retaining wall. There were no proprietary spacers available so the sub-contractor decided to improvise with paving bricks and lengths of scaffold tube. This was not 5 minutes work and must have been seen by the main contractor’s site team while it was being carried out. The spacers also did not give the specified cover.


When it was pointed out, we were told that it was just temporary until the correct spacers arrived.


Only problem was that the sub-contractor had wired in the “temp spacers”. They had the distinct appearance of being permanent.

This was a retaining wall being built to some 2+m high. Scaffold tubes and incorrect spacers could be a cause of a weak spot and early failure as the scaffold tubes rusted in the concrete.

Fortunately we were able to spot it in time and have the correct spacers installed and so save the possible early failure of the retaining wall.