Fatality: Fall from suspended work platform

A man was working on the lower level of a suspended modular scaffold. He fell from the scaffold through a gap between two modular platform sections. The plywood used to bridge the gap between the two platforms was found on the floor. He fell from approximately 18 metres, sustaining severe injuries. He was taken to hospital, but died from his injuries.

The subsequent investigation noted the following contributory factors:

  • the supervisor and his team had not received training concerning scaffolding procedures;
  • the supervisor thought the scaffolding was safe merely because it was set up, so he authorised the person involved to go to the work location to complete previous day’s activity;
  • there was a lack of communication between the sub-contractor setting up the scaffolds and the sub-contractor using the scaffolds;
  • the victim had not recognised a 90° tube across the platform walkway as a barrier.