On February 8, 2017, an employee was performing industrial painting duties on the interior of a bridge. While painting, he walked over an access ladder and fell 37’ landing on another employee who was located at the base of the ladder. Both employees were hospitalized and treated for body contusions, broken cheekbones, and blood on the brain. (All employees survived)
Proper flagging or barricading would have prevented the first employee from falling. The second employee should not have placed himself directly under overhead work.
What Can We Learn?
Performing a Self Check for the painter on the elevated level would have raised his awareness of his surroundings.
Using a Peer Check in setting up the worksite could have helped them to identify the need for flagging on all openings within the walkways.
Overconfidence caused the elevated worker to be comfortable enough not to barricade or flag the opening to the ladder between levels.
Ask the Right Questions