Safety Incident Topic: Fall From Scaffolding
Location of Incident: TExas, USA
Date of Incident: 29 august, 2007
Brief Account of Incident
On August 29 at approximately 14:00, a worker fell headfirst over a scaffold rail from a height of 30 feet. He was in the process of pulling plastic sheeting for a sandblasting barrier over a 42” pipe. He was tied-off with a double lanyard to a scaffolding top rail. When he lost his balance and fell backwards, one end of the anchor rail became disconnected. There was potential for the lanyards to become disconnected from the anchor rail which could have allowed the worker to fall to ground level. Two coworkers on the platform were able to quickly pull him back onto the deck. The worker was evaluated at the clinic, released and returned to work.
It is not known at this time if the scaffold rail pinning mechanism failed or if it was not installed properly.
Work planning did not consider alternate work positions which may have prevented the fall hazard. Hazard elimination and control was not discussed for working on top of the pipeline for this task. The worker did not inspect and verify the anchor rail connections before use.
An incident investigation has been initiated and the lessons learned document will be available by September 30, 2007.