Falling Lid Fractures Finger
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT DETAILS
An employee fractured a finger and damaged the nail bed when the lid of a gas bottle cage fell onto it. He had been momentarily distracted whilst closing the lid when he inadvertently dropped the padlock. As he bent down to pick it up, he placed his hand on the gas cylinder cage to support himself when the lid fell shut.
In this instance the cage, which is demountable, was located on the back of a pick up truck. The open angle of rest of the lid was affected by the position of the cage and the slope of the pick-up platform, which prevented it opening 10° past the vertical, where it would have been more stable and restricted by a limiting chain.
In error the cage had been located on the vehicle to enable the lid to rest in the vertical position against the bulkhead when open. Previously the cages had been transported and dropped off at sites via a truck equipped with a Hiab, however the risk assessment was not reviewed when the method of work changed.
Despite routine risk assessments, audits and inspections, the unexpected closure of the cylinder cage lid had not been perceived to be a significant hazard by operatives or supervisors and therefore no additional controls or procedures were in place. Prior assessments had identified a number of hazards related to the use of this equipment (manual handling / lifting / limiting chain) and relevant control measures had been implemented. No related near-misses or incidents had been reported previously.
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
•Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment – Are personnel trained in hazard identification and risk assessment? Are work areas (including vans/pick ups) assessed for hazards when they are configured? Are tasks risk assessed? Do risk assessments involve the people carrying out the tasks? Are risk assessments reviewed when activities or the work environment changes?
• Stop and Think – Do personnel understand the principle of STOP & THINK? Do personnel take a minute to assess what they are doing and how it could harm them? Are Near Misses and Hazards reported?
•Personal Protective Equipment – Are gloves routinely used for manual tasks?
• Lighting – Do risk assessments take account of poor light conditions? Is adequate lighting provided when working at night?
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES
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