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LTI: Finger injury sustained handling heavy shackle pin

What happened?

During re-rigging of heavy lifting gear, two riggers were holding the crane hook upright, another three were holding the shackle, and a sixth crewman was holding the shackle pin ready for insertion. As he pushed the shackle pin home, his left index finger was nipped between the head of the shackle and the body of the shackle. This resulted in a serious injury to the index finger of the left hand.

What were the causes of the incident?

Our member identified the following immediate causes:

  • not paying attention – lack of awareness of hazards; this was due to the routine nature of the activity
  • inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE) – impact resistant gloves not worn; these could have reduced the severity of the incident;

The following underlying causes were identified:

  • complacency – due to the repetitive nature of this routine activity
  • prescribed PPE was not worn due in part to poor communication and poor enforcement of the requirements
  • poor design of the shackle pin and the method used for rigging may have contributed to the incident – the size and shape of the pin head left little room for the fingers to hold
  • environment – the work area was restricted and cramped.

What lessons were learnt? And what were the actions?

  • Easier rigging arrangements involving less manual handling would be investigated, including the possible use of mechanical aids.

Finger injury during maintenance work – restricted work case

Safety Event

Published: 2 June 2017
Download: IMCA SF 13/17

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