Friday, November 11, 2011


Glass panels were delivered in crates inside a container on back of a trailer to site unloading area. The container contained 6 crates each with 20 panels weighing approximately 80 kg each. First four were dragged out by team of five operatives to allow for telehandler to unload leaving two crates. Glass within one of these became unstable, toppled and 4 panels fell onto one of the operative involved in unloading and sustained fractures in his both feet.

Root Cause:
  • Wrong shipping method and poor crate construction.
  • Inability to unload safety by mechanical means due to orientation of crates within container.
  • No assessment of change and planning of safe method of unloading by contractor.
  • No briefing given to operatives or risk assessment completed for manual handling and unloading.
  • Supervision believed that method to be only option and did not ask for advice from the site team.

What we need to do:
  • Specify acceptable delivery method to enable safe unloading by mechanical means.
  • Substandard deliveries should be quarantined until full review and safe method has been planed - If none then return it to the supplier.
  • Risk assessment must be completed to ensure controls are identified for handling, offloading and storage onsite.
  • Operatives MUST always be briefed on safe method.
  • Care must be taken at all times as loads may have shifted, and become unstable or damaged during transit.
  • Forklift and telehandler operatives must be competent and have checked all slings and lift accessories etc., prior to use.
  • On site supervision should ensure no unloading takes place where there is doubt about the safety of method statement.
"If in Doubt, STOP, and Ask."

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