Head hit by Scaffold Pole (KV 190)


What Happened?

While performing operator rounds, an employee went to un-airlock the cooling tower bleach pumps. As the employee was looking down at a common vent valve to be closed, they walked into a horizontal scaffold pole striking their hard hat which jammed their neck. The employee received medial attention.

Contributing Factors

Employee did not visually recognize the hazard.

Employee walked up to the valve with head down, so the horizontal pole was not in visual sight.

What Can We Learn?


The employee should have used a Questioning Attitude to consider the hazards surrounding his work environment.

By using a Self Check the employee would have taken a moment to focus and mentally prepare to un-airlock the cooling tower bleach pumps. Thereby, he would have recognized and avoided the pole overhead.


He fell into the Distractions by losing focus on the task at hand and physical environment which may cause him harm.

The employee might have been Multi-tasking which could have caused him to walk with his head down and not visually recognize the horizontal pole.    

Ask the Right Questions

How does this relate to our work?

Where do we have similar traps?

What Tools can we use to avoid a similar incident?

Was a stop work point missed?