The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Scaffolding Safety Alert - Offshore Fall From Height

Graham Marshall - Sunday, January 13, 2013

Enclosed here is a safety alert from NOPSEMA about an incident in which a scafffolder fell from height when dismantling a scaffold on an offshore facility in Australian waters.

Fortunately, the scaffolder was wearing a safety harness and inertia-reel device which prevented him hitting the sea below.

The alert does highlight some failures and key learning, including:

It is considered good practice to install check couplers above the suspension scaffolding coupler as described in AS/NZS 4576 Guidelines for scaffolding;

1.  The scaffold should be visually inspected by the work party prior to using the scaffold;

2.  Scaffolds should be inspected regularly by a competent person;

3.  Only equipment within its certification period should be used;

4.  Safety equipment should be suitably rated for the personnel using it;

5.  Fall arrest equipment should be anchored at a suitably rated anchor point; and

6.  The rescue plan should reflect the hazards the job presents rather than using a generic rescue plan for all scaffold jobs.

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