A worker was transitioning from a scaffold to the externally mounted access ladder at an 8m (26ft) height.
He tripped on uneven planking in the scaffolding, shifting towards the ladder.
Fortunately, the worker already had his hands on the ladder, so was able to control his movement and prevent the fall.
Why did it happen?
Inadequate routine scaffold inspection:
- Uneven planking on the work platform was not noticed, thus not corrected before the scaffolding was marked as being safe to use.
Procedures did not provide clear requirements for scaffold inspection, tagging or ladder installation.
No safeguards for preventing falls from ladders mounted externally on scaffolding.
- Scaffold was not designed to prevent falls from height when ascending and descending ladders.
What did they learn?
Inspect scaffolds on site for defects before starting work.
Consider alternative scaffold design and construction methods for ladder installation.
Review and update general HSE management systems for scaffold design, tagging and ladder installation.
Check and update arrangements with scaffolding contractors to ensure they match safe operating procedures.
Ask yourself or your crew
How could something like this happen on our site?
What is the correct technique for transferring from scaffolding to access ladders?
What barriers/safeguards do we have in place to prevent or reduce the severity of a similar event?
How good is our scaffold construction quality assurance/control and routine inspection program? How can we improve?
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A worker was transitioning from a scaffold to the externally mounted access ladder at an 8m (26ft) height. Good ladder technique practice prevented his fall.