Employee Falls from Utility Pole (KV 197)


What Happened?

At 11:45 a.m. on July 12th, 2018, an Apprentice Lineman was descending a utility pole with protrusions and was using fall protection. The employee fell when his safety belt clasp opened from not being closed properly while he was clearing one of the protrusions and he suffered multiple bilateral tibia fractures. The employee was hospitalized.

Contributing Factors

There were no contributing factors known.

What Can We Learn?


The employee may have been Distracted prior to starting work which may have caused him to not properly close his safety belt clasp.

The employee was likely Overconfident in ensuring his gear was properly put on prior to starting work.


The worker could have used a Critical Step Check (Summarize. Anticipate. Foresee. Evaluate Defenses.) to ensure his safety belt clasp was properly closed prior to starting work.

Were there Procedures in place that the employee could have followed to ensure his safety belt clasp was closed?   

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?