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Worker falls from unguarded mezzanine

Summary
A worker in a recycling return centre climbed up a ladder to a storage mezzanine. She was retrieving empty boxes from the mezzanine and piling them near the front entrance. Some time later, a co-worker found the first worker on the concrete floor below the mezzanine with serious injuries. The worker later died of injuries consistent with a fall.

Conclusions

Findings as to causes

  • The worker died from falling onto a concrete floor while retrieving boxes from a storage mezzanine above the floor.
  • An unsecured stepladder was leaned against the mezzanine and used to enter and leave the mezzanine. The ladder did not extend far enough beyond the mezzanine edge for safe access.
  • The mezzanine, which was 2.4 metres above the floor, was accessed frequently by workers but lacked guardrails to prevent workers from falling.
  • The narrow walk area between the stacked pallets and the unguarded edge was only 37 cm wide.
  • Lighting was not adequate to allow workers to safely recognize hazards.
Findings as to underlying factors
  • The employer and workers failed to recognize that worker access onto the elevated mezzanine was a fall hazard.

Publication Date: Dec 2005 File type: PDF (126 KB) Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2005137290330