Safety Has No Holiday - A Case Study !
A group workers (helper category) of Sub-contractor were assigned the job of housekeeping in under construction Tower on Sunday at about 8:00 am by main contractor. Injured Person was working alone in OTS shaft for debris removal, while accessing the chajja at other side of OTS the victim lost balance and had fall at about 8.40am from 2nd floor level (approx. 5.15 mt from gr floor) leading to right leg & right hand mid fingure fracture & minor cuts & scratches on face. Injured Person was wearing his all PPE's safety helmet, safety shoes and safety harness, however he didn't anchor his harness and hence there was free fall to ground. Also the primary protection safety net at first floor level OTS was partly left open by the victim after cleaning of the debris and hence could not arrest the person from free fall.
Assumption No 1
The victim may have tried to reach chajja from the top opening of toilet. At the time of passing from that opening he may have lost his grip from brick wall of toilet and fell from that point.
2 Nos broken bricks were available as shown in the figure. But it is doubtful since1.9m height is difficult for the victim to go down until he decided to jump and there was no ladder available at vicinity of that area.
Assumption No 2
The victim might climbed by any means (which later may have taken out from that area) and at the time of climbing down to the other side of toilet he jumped and lost control.
If anybody tries to jump from 2.4m and at the platform of 0.5m it is very much possible to be topple.
Another assumption was made that the victiom may be have tried to reach the chajja by means of a 100mm channel section,which was available at the adjacent unit of the area. The victim and his crew member may be placed the channel at that opening and after that victim tried to reach the area from over the channel.During going from the channel he may have lost his control and fall down
The victim may have fallen the channel but there were no evidence available that shows the channel has been put on the opening.Here also it was doubtful that the channel weight is approx . 25kg which is not possible for one person to put at place whereas all other gang members told the victim was alone at that place.
Events leading to the incident/accident
1.Unplanned work - Work without work permit and prior intimation is not permissible but Contractor violated this protocol and conducted the work without giving any prior intimation to PMC and without obtaining any valid work permit
2.Lack of Supervision - The work was planned a night before without any prior intimation to PMC and the supervisor allowed the work to happen in his absence and left the activity unsupervised.
3.Negligence of Safety Equipment - Although the victim was wearing full body safety harness but he didn't anchor the safety belt.
Findings on overall approach and safe work practices adopted at site
The victim was working without work permit for the net/chajja cleaning work under the instruction of supervisor of Contractor. As per Client safety guideline no work should be executed without written work permit and written permit always requires authorization of work by concern Contractor’s project personnel and thereafter, approval of PMC personnel. In this regard the Client safety guidelines for work permit system was violated.
In addition to this, the work was carried out in absence of any supervisor which is also a major failure of site management of Contractor.
As per established system, if any work other than routine maintenance and housekeeping work at ground level, is required to be executed on Sundays and other Holidays, the Contractor is supposed to inform the same in advance to PMC so that in turn, PMC also makes necessary arrangement to ensure their presence at site. In this case, no such prior intimation was given to PMC and established practice was bypassed.
While working, the victim was wearing full body safety harness but he didn’t anchor the hook of safety harness anywhere and therefore, the fall from height was not arrested.
It is also noticed that because of unplanned work, no hook locking arrangement was provisioned at work place and the working area was unsafe.
Learning from Case Study
1. All work whether routine or non-routine on holidays (productive/ non-productive) shall be given equal importance and supervision and safety measures must.
2. Critical height work with difficult approach shall be well planned after HIRA and permit to work.
3. Passive protection safety measures (safety nets, hard barricading, lifelines, shaft & cut-outs enclosures etc.) shall not be tampered or removed without permission of Tower In charge and Safety In charge. This is life threatening offense and punitive action must.
4. Emergency support services like first aid, firefighting aids, emergency vehicle, operators/ drivers etc. shall be operative/available for holiday or odd working hours.
5. Ensure that the Contractor, PMC and Client are conducting self-safety assessment through corporate/ cluster safety head/ safety coordinators frequently at least quarterly and improvements are factored and evaluated.
6. Permit is strong administrative control tool and if adhered strictly work will proceed safely after spot inspections/ corrections. There shall be zero tolerance approach to PTW procedural deviations.