Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

A Fall From Height

Sometimes workplace accidents happen in public places. Case in point: a fall that claimed the lives of two men working on the overhead power lines at a street intersection. The effect on the public was dramatic:

As to how and why this happened, rest assured there will be a full investigation. Eventually, the “lessons learned” from the tragedy will be published.  But that will take months, possibly years.

You could wait to learn those lessons, or you could figure some of them out on your own. Often, they’re obvious.

Found in a separate news report on the incident are three warning flags that reveal important lessons for anyone working around any kind of hazards:

  • The work being done: “routine maintenance”
  • There was “equipment failure”
  • Both of the two “fell from the bucket of the truck”
You really don’t need to wait on the investigation report to put those lessons learned immediately into practice where you work.
  • Beware of complacency that comes from performing routine work.
  • Inspect equipment before putting it in service.
  • Always follow the fall protection procedure.
In a situation like this, the fall arrest device is the last line of defense.

Paul Balmert
October 2020

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