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Fall from height

A member has reported an incident in which a person was injured in a fall from a different level. A saturation diver used the transfer under pressure (TUP) access hatch to come out of the saturation chamber while unloading equipment. To re-enter the chamber the diver held on to the top dogging bar of the chamber. The dogging bar rotated towards him causing him to lose his grip and fall approximately five feet on to the bell skid leading to muscle contusion and hairline fractures of his right forearm and right thigh.

Further investigation revealed the following:

  • In normal circumstances the presence of the diving bell at this TUP access hatch made access and egress safe. When the diving bell was removed, there was less edge protection around the platform;
  • The injured person did not recognise the lack of protection and increased risk of falling;
  • The injured person used an incorrect handle (dogging bar) to pull himself into the chamber.

The following recommendations were made:

  • Reinforce the importance of management of change procedures;
  • Ensure the correct fixed handholds are used when accessing or exiting a saturation chamber;
  • Ensure all relevant personnel are aware of the location and use of the correct handholds;
  • Construct a removable platform with additional edge protection to facilitate access to and from the chamber when the bell is not present (see second picture).
Saturation chamber from which diver fell
Saturation chamber from which diver fell
Movable platform to allow safe access to saturation chamber
Movable platform to allow safe access to saturation chamber

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