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Fatality: Fall from height in shipyard

IMCA has received a report of an incident wherein a worker lost his life falling from height. The incident occurred onboard a vessel in a shipyard whilst a worker was lifting an elbow pipe to dismantle it from a pipeline. A lifting lug, which was used to rig the pipe, gave way and struck the worker, causing him to fall from a height of about 7 metres. The worker was taken to hospital, but subsequently died of his injuries.

The accident could have been prevented had safe work procedures been used, such as a pre-lift toolbox meeting including discussion of rigging methods to be used in lifting the elbow pipe. The use of appropriate fall restraint equipment could also have assisted in preventing the fall.

This incident highlights the following lessons to be learnt:

  • workers should be properly trained and able to comprehend the hazards of their work, particularly when lifting is involved;
  • appropriate safety equipment – in this case, fall restraints – should always be used;
  • companies need to ensure adequate procedures are in place and followed to prevent accidents, including risk assessments and toolbox meetings.

Safety Event

Published: 31 January 2006
Download: IMCA SF 01/06

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