2009-10-20 Poor stepladder for accessing equipment

Safety Alert Type: 
Heavy Equipment
New Denver
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was conducting equipment maintenance at the company yard. He was working on the rear of a log processor that required standing on the tracks. To get up onto the tracks (there are no handholds at this end of the machine) he was using an empty 5-gallon pail with the lid attached as a step. He was on the tracks and had to get down so he stepped backward off the tracks and onto the top of the pail, which became unstable and tipped over. From the height of the pail the worker fell backward landing on his back on the hard ground. The back of his head struck the ground causing brief unconsciousness, disorientation and mild concussion. After a medical examination and a few hours of rest, he was able to return to the worksite.

There was a stepladder-like item available to use but it was very bulky, heavy and awkward to use so pails were regularly used by workers as a means of stepping up onto tracks or other high points.

Learnings and Suggestions: 


1. Purchase one or more step ladders or step stools of an appropriate size and quality to use at the maintenance yard for accessing equipment or other high areas.
2. At safety meetings, impress upon workers the need for them to develop a perception of their work environment and safety and to bring unsafe conditions to the attention of supervisors or management.
3. Continue to encourage workers to "look outside the box" and learn to identify hazards and to assess risks of activities that are common place.


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Rick Johnson, Safety Coordinator 250-365-9983

File attachments
2009-10-20 Poor stepladder for accessing equipment.pdf
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