Skip to content

High potential near-miss: Incorrectly secured overhead equipment

What happened?

During operations, it was observed that the connecting shackle pins on two separate items of overhead equipment (fall arrest inertia reels) were loose and could have become detached. If any of this equipment had fallen it could have struck someone underneath with potentially fatal consequences.

R” clip type that was incorrectly used for this application but is commonly used in diving operations.


  • Inspection of the securing arrangements revealed that the wrong securing clips had been used and these had fallen out, enabling the shackle pins to work loose. A split pin or wire seizing should have been used to secure the shackle pin;
  • The equipment was covered by weather protection boxes which prevented easy inspection of the securing arrangement;

This incorrect securing arrangement was identified previously but lessons were not shared across the fleet or with the contractors who installed this equipment.


  • Conduct a hazard hunt to confirm that any overhead equipment is secured correctly to prevent it coming loose;
  • Visual check of rigging and securing of any man riding or fall arrest equipment for similar issues;
  • Ensure appropriate regular inspection regimes are in place, particularly for locations where visual inspection is difficult – consideration should be given to equipment already positioned at height or concealed from view;
  • Users of fall protection devices may not be able to visually inspect the connections because of location or if weather protection devices are used. In these cases, additional or other suitable inspection arrangements should be in place;
  • Care should be taken to confirm the adequacy of the securing arrangements applied when third parties are engaged to install, maintain or inspect such equipment.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents, both of which relate to securing arrangements coming undone.

Safety Event

Published: 22 May 2017
Download: IMCA SF 11/17

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
Submit a Report

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.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.