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Chain caught and broke

What happened

Crew were removing a hydrogen gland from a generator using a lifting attachment, two chain falls, and an overhead crane. One of the chain fall’s pull chains caught on a bolt and broke. The bolt was on the top of the generator and was there to hold a protective cover sheet in place. There were no injuries.

What went wrong

  • There was a general job briefing done for the day’s work, but not specifically for this task;
  • The crew had started lifting the load with chain falls and were beginning to lift with the crane. There are two distinct lifts to be considered – the manual lift (with the chain fall) and the power lift (with the crane). The transition is the critical time;
  • Everyone was focused on the load and not watching the chain falls or the crane.


  • A Safety stand-down was held to discuss this incident with all involved and lessons from it were to be included in future training material for apprentices and new hires;
  • Have an increased awareness of ensuring chains are free when moving loads;
  • Keep the “bigger picture” in mind – don’t get so focussed on the detail that something obviously potentiallly unsafe escapes your attention.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 24 July 2023
Download: IMCA SF 18/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
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