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Scaffold pushed over with two workers onboard

  • What happened?

    Two workers were carrying out a canopy cleaning operation at a service station, using a 4m/13ft high scaffold.

    A worker on the ground attempted to change the position of the scaffold by pushing it.

    The scaffold structure fell with the two workers on board.

    1 operator was injured and received stiches to his head and hip.

    What happened - icon
  • Why did it happen?

    Operation was not planned or authorised by contracting company.  Job was meant to be completed using squeegees and sticks to avoid working at height.

    The operators were not wearing safety harnesses.

    The worker on the ground handled the scaffold in an unsafe manner.

    The previous day, an inspector stopped work conducted by the same contractor on another site for unauthorised equipment use. Despite this, contractors continued to use the scaffold.

    The scaffolding structure was not inspected before the job.

    Poor safety culture of the contractor: contractor personnel not qualified and not aware of the risks.

    Why did it happen - icon
  • What did they learn?

    Raise awareness of good practice standards and safety for all staff and contractors.

    Verify all safety measures are in place.  Make sure everyone is aware of the risks before starting work.

    Rupture, tilting, falling off the platform, and dropped objects are some of the risks associated with scaffolding.

    Serious or deadly accidents are mostly caused by inadequate use of scaffold, negligence and absence of inspection before starting work.

    When working at height, adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn at all times.

    Harnesses should be worn and always attached to a solid point or a lifeline.

    What learn - icon
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    How can something like this happen here?

    Do we need to use a scaffold for today’s job, or can find another, safer, way to work?

    How would you intervene if you saw this happening on site?  Who would you report this to?

    What else can we learn from this incident?

    Ask your crew - icon