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Worker fell 16 feet from unguarded deck

Date of incident: February 2015
Notice of incident number: 2015160670011
Employer: Building demolition company

Incident summary
A sawmill was being demolished. A worker was cutting a transfer deck into sections using a torch. A second worker entered the transfer deck to advise the worker that it was almost quitting time. The second worker slipped and fell about 16 feet from the transfer deck to grade. He suffered serious injuries.

Investigation conclusions

  • Lack of fall protection: A failure by the employer and by the prime contractor to provide and enforce the use of fall protection systems was a causal factor in this incident. The employer and the prime contractor did not ensure that workers were effectively protected from the hazard of falling at this workplace. As a result, the worker fell 16 feet off the transfer deck to the ground below and sustained serious injuries.

Underlying factors

  • Lack of safety supervision: There was a failure by the prime contractor and the employer to implement and maintain proper and effective safety supervision of the worksite. This would have ensured that fall hazards present in the workplace were identified and adequately controlled.
  • Inadequate planning: A failure by the prime contractor and the employer to plan for the fall hazards was an underlying factor in this incident.
  • Ineffective health and safety program: There was no effective health and safety program designed to identify and mitigate risk to workers on this worksite. The prime contractor and the employer’s lack of safety coordination and failure to implement an effective health and safety program on this project were an underlying factor in this incident.

Request the full report

Publication Date: Feb 2017 Asset type: Incident Investigation Report Summary NI number: 2015160670011