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Working at height – Use of wooden handled hammers

A member has drawn to IMCA’s attention a number of incidents involving the use at height of wooden handled hammers. All of these incidents involved the hammer head separating from the handle, and had the potential to cause major injury or fatality.

Our member took the following actions:

  • Required crews not to use hammers with wooden handles when working at height;
  • Required crews to use composite design hammers (single piece with integrated handles) when working at height;
  • Ensured that tools are regularly checked to ensure they are in a serviceable condition and free of homemade repairs, and defects (loose heads, etc.);
  • Ensured removal of all wooden handled hammers which were used for work at height.

Members may wish to encourage circulation of the following safety promotional material:

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents (search words: tool, working, height):

Safety Event

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

IMCA Safety Flashes
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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.

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