The Australian Hire and Rental Industry Association (HRIA) has highlighted the need to follow weighting guidelines when erecting marquees after a serious accident in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.

The association said a marquee blew over at a local hotel where it was being installed for an exhibition and was in the process of being fitted out.

It said reports indicated that the 15m x 75m long marquee had not been weighted to the standards approved by the HRIA and was in fact under-weighted.

The structure had been erected by a non-HRIA member and apparently did not follow HRIA approved weighting guidelines.

One person suffered a broken leg, some facial injuries and many cuts and bruises as a result of the accident. The HRIA also said there had been a severe wind weather warning out for the day.

Entirely preventable

HRIA national events division president Tom O’Dowd, (also business development manager for No Fuss Solutions in Victoria) said this type of incident was entirely preventable if industry weighting guidelines were adhered to.

“The HRIA events division has drafted and released industry specific weighting guidelines for structures which have been tested and approved by structural engineers and which meet stringent Australian building codes.

“These guidelines were developed to provide industry specific and structurally approved guidelines for weighting structures appropriately to enable our industry to function to the highest possible standards and ensure the safety of end-users at all times,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“When these guidelines are not followed, that is when unfortunate incidents such as this one in the Barossa Valley occur.

“A 15m wide marquee with 5m bays requires 1200kg per leg as a minimum weight, (according to the HRIA Weighting Guide). This may vary in line with wind terrain category, but it would not be reduced for a marquee in the open,” he added.

“We as an industry are extremely thankful no one was killed as a result of this incident.”

The guide


The HRIA events division Temporary Structure / Marquee Weighting Guide was compiled by concerned members of the Events Division of the HRIA, including manufacturers, suppliers, rental companies and end users.

It has been produced to offer guidance with regards to the safety and stability of marquees or temporary structures in outdoor areas.

The traditional methods of stability have been pegging and weighting. However, in recent years, with the increasing focus on WHS and regulations, it has become harder and harder to use pegging because of concerns for underground services and ground quality, the HRIA advised.

Weighting has become the favoured method of achieving safety and stability with temporary structures, particularly in outdoor public areas.

To access the HRIA Weighting Guidelines, visit: www.hireandrental.com.au

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