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High potential near-miss: Dropped object

A member has reported a high potential dropped object near miss incident. The incident occurred in a workshop location ashore. A section of metal panelling, which weighed 5.6kg, came loose from the hood of a large industrial automatic rolling door and fell 7-10 meters to the ground. It landed right in front of the fire exit of the workshop.

The Dropped Objects Preventions Scheme (DROPS) calculator tells us that an object of that weight falling from that height could have resulted in a potential fatality.

Item dropped approximately 7-10 metres from above the main roller shutter door
Item dropped approximately 7-10 metres from above the main roller shutter door
Hood panelling had dropped in front of the main fire exit
Hood panelling had dropped in front of the main fire exit
One of the rusted fastening brackets
One of the rusted fastening brackets

Our member’s investigation revealed the following causal factors:

  • Fastening brackets were rusted; this rusting was caused by water ingress;
  • There was no secondary retention fitted -a practice advocated by DROPS;
  • Whilst the rolling door itself was subject to planned maintenance and inspection, the system did not extend to the hood above the door, which had not been inspected since its installation approximately 15 years before;
  • No dropped objects survey had taken place, which could have identified the actions required to ensure the safety of the item.

The root cause of the incident was found to be failure to identify the requirements to ensure the safety of this large automatic rolling door – including maintenance, inspection and secondary retention.

Our member took the following actions:

  • Fallen panel was replaced and appropriate secondary retention (self-tapping screws) installed;
  • The remaining panels were all examined and self-tapping screws were fitted as secondary retention;
  • A preliminary dropped object survey was carried out, and annual checks on the hood panel were introduced.

Dropped objects as a result of corrosion is an important and recurring issue, and members may wish to focus attention on it. members may wish to refer to the following incidents (search words: dropped, corrosion):

Safety Event

Published: 13 September 2016
Download: IMCA SF 23/16

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