Jul 102011

There can be few feelings as bad as knowing that you could have saved a life or prevented someone from serious injury but kept quiet even though you knew they were at risk. In a case highlighted in a Marine Safety Forum flash, co-workers saw that a colleague’s safe harness was not properly clipped-on and he subsequently suffered a potentially fatal fall.

Says MSF:: “We have received notification of a serious injury event at an external organisation. During pipework erection activities on a site an operative received serious injuries as a result of a fall from height.

“The IP left a safe working platform and climbed out onto a pair of parallel 30cm pipes with the intention of fixing a beam clamp and chain block to a beam. The IP was wearing a safety harness but had not hooked off. He slipped and fell 3.5 meters onto concrete. The IP suffered compound fractures of the left tibia and fibula.
Lessons learnt and preventative measures
Key Findings:

  • The IP wore a safety harness in good condition complete with lanyards but failed to clip off while outside the safe working area.
  • The IP failed to request scaffolding access to the new work area.
  • Two other men in the work gang observed the IP climbing out of the safe working platform and failed to intervene.

Preventive Actions to be Taken

  • Never work outside a safe working platform without an approved R/A, M/S & PTW.
  • Always hook off when outside of a safe working area.
  • Always use scaffolding as a first choice. Working outside of a safe working area with a harness
  • is a last resort and subject to PTW.
  • Supervisors must enforce safe methods of work.
  • Always intervene if you witness an unsafe act. Don’t walk by.

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