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Fatality: fall from height

A member has reorted an incident in which a worker was killed, falling 19 meters from a column walkway. The person was a fitter putting in place a final piece of grating on an overhead walkway (see Figure 1 below). The worker was standing on a platform made from two planks. As the worker was moving the grating, one plank fell down causing the worker to swing, lose his balance and fall to his death.

Figure 1 - Location from which worker fell
Figure 1 – Location from which worker fell

Members are encouraged to remind their personnel of the following basic safety principles when working at height:

  • When working at height with fall exposure, 100% fall protection should be required;
  • Personnel working at height should be properly trained to use fall protection devices;
  • Personnel working at height should wear full body harnesses fitted with lanyards;
  • Fall arrest equipment should be carefully inspected before and after each use;
  • Temporary platforms should be properly secured;
  • Platforms and walkways shall be kept free from obstacles such as materials, equipment, tools and rubbish, etc., which might fall or obstruct safe working activities.

Members are reminded of IMCA’s safety promotional material on working at height, which includes safety pocket cards, posters and a DVD:

Safety Event

Published: 10 November 2010
Download: IMCA SF 07/10

IMCA Safety Flashes
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IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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