07 September 2007

Falling Motor During Lifting

Safety Incident Topic: Falling Motor During Lifting Work
Location of Incident: Geel, Belgium
Date of Incident: 10 April, 2002

Brief Account of Incident
· Cover plate of the electrical connecting box was removed to enable motor removal from equipment.
· Removal of cover plate created sharp edge that made contact with the lifting strap.
· During reinstallation, the workers experienced problems to position the motor and had to man oeuvre it to enable reconnection.
· The lifting strap was cut over sharp edge of the connecting box.
· The motor fell down on the leg of one of the workers.
A second worker jumped away and experienced a slight cut.
· The lifting chain caught the motor and kept it hanging in the air and prevented the motor from falling on the next platform 2 m down.

What Went Wrong
· The lifting works were not stopped to evaluate the situation at the moment the job was perceived to be more complex than initially anticipated.
· The sharp edge was not noticed (was covered with plastic bag) and so the risk was not seen.
· A lifting strap was used that was overdue on approval.
Potential Outcome: DAFW–case (more serious injury) or Fatality

What Went Well
· Medical treatment and follow -up.
· Quick response from mechanics involved to safely position motor.

Lessons Learned
· Lifting training is needed that covers how to deal with sharp edges.
· Evaluate who should be trained to do (manual) lifting works.
· Improve warehouse storage process to have sufficient approved safety material available.
· Evaluate what ideas can be copied from TAR’s during a smaller stop (eg container with safety material in unit).
· Evaluate need for a plant-wide procedure/checklist for doing (manual) lifting works.

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