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Dropped objects from scaffolding

There have been several incidents where tools and equipment have been left inside scaffold tubes that are part of a scaffold structure.

The picture is from an incident where a metal spike fell 7-8 feet to the deck, narrowly missing a scaffolder as he was dismantling a scaffold structure.

Fortunately nobody was injured, but there could have been a serious accident had someone been struck. The root cause of the problem has been noted to be as a result of personnel working on scaffold structures, using horizontal scaffold tubes as temporary storage areas while undertaking a work activity, then forgetting to remove the item.

All personnel working on scaffold tubes have a responsibility to work safely and it is vital that they leave their working area in a safe condition.

The following actions have been recommended:

  • capping the ends of guardrails and horizontal scaffold tubes to minimise the opportunity and temptation for personnel to use tubes for storage;
  • issuing a reminder to all personnel working with, on or around scaffolding:
    • be aware of the risks of dropped objects;
    • do not use scaffold tubes as temporary storage;
    • remove all tools and equipment from the scaffold structure on completion of each task/on leaving an area of the structure.

Safety Event

Published: 1 January 2005
Download: IMCA SF 01/05

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