Skip to content

Near-miss: Fire axe falls out of cabinet, almost hits a fireman’s toes

The Danish has published the following near miss report of how an axe fell from a cabinet, narrowly missing someone’s toes. A crewman was preparing to get fire-fighting equipment out of the fireman’s equipment cabinet, when the fire axe fell out and fell 1.5m to the floor. The axe landed blade down only a few centimetres from the crewman – who at that moment was in his socks, wearing no toe-cap boots, as he was preparing to don a fireman’s outfit.

The axe and the toes
The axe and the toes

This cartoon can be found at

This cartoon neatly explains the difference between unsafe conditions, unsafe acts, near misses, and actual incidents. Further similar cartoons and explanatory information was availableat

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.