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Fatal fall from height

The UK HSE reports that an international engineering company has been sentenced following the death of a worker who fell 10m to his death from an electricity pylon.  A rigger had been working with a colleague preparing the pylons in readiness for painters to carry out maintenance work.  On the morning of the incident, he arrived at the job to find that the painters had already started painting even though the pylon had not been rigged.

He climbed approximately 10m up the pylon, when he fell backwards, narrowly missing one of the painters working directly below him.  As a result of the fall, he sustained serious multiple injuries and died at the scene.

The investigation found a number of failures in the management of risks arising from work at height.  Although the company had a system of work they failed to implement, monitor and enforce this system.  This failing exposed their employees to the risk of death.

After the hearing, a HSE Inspector noted:

“The company were clearly aware of the hazards involved with pylon work and had a system in place to manage the risks.  Unfortunately, they failed to implement, monitor and enforce this system of work.  In addition, they failed to ensure the proper inspection and provision of safety critical personal protective equipment.”

The press release can be found at

This incident is passed onto members because it highlights the potentially fatal consequences of failing to properly manage risk at the worksite. Members may wish to refer to the following incident (search words: failure, manage, risk):

Safety Event

Published: 29 November 2016
Download: IMCA SF 34/16

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