Lessons Learned. May 29, 2005 Fatality from a fall into a manhole. Shaft A 60 and the location of the incident. UNLIT AREA. Fall of 12 metres. X. Incident Description:.
May 29, 2005
Fatality from a fall into a manhole
Fall of 12 metres
Two sub contract painters were working in shaft A60 installing thermal insulation on the risers. One of the men wanted to use a piece of plywood that was lying on the floor for cutting isolation material or as a storage board for their tools and materials. He picked up the edge of the wood without realizing that there was an open manhole underneath.
As he lifted the board, he stepped forward to raise the wood vertical and fell down the open manhole, falling some 12 meters to the floor of the cell beneath.
3. The deceased carried the materials and tools to this location to store them. Assumption is that he required a clean place, lifted the plywood to clean it, walked forward and fell down the manhole
1. Painters were working here when asked to leave the shaft by the watchman
Open ROV access holes with barriers
Single 1,500 watt lamp, casting light
Point of accident
Only one 1,500 watt lamp was installed on the floor. There was no other light in the area and in the base of the structure immediately under the manhole
2. One painter stayed at the work location cleaning the area
Rise pipes being worked on by painters
ROV access holes with barriers
Photograph showing poor lighting, black sand and unprotected plywood over manhole
Photograph showing manhole with plywood removed
Photograph view looking down, showing cell beneath with pipes where worker fell
Photograph showing manhole with barricade and toe boards restored
The casualty received severe head injuries and was transported to the site clinic and then onto Nakhodka hospital. Despite efforts to stabilize the casualty in the site clinic and ambulance his condition deteriorated and he was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.
The deceased was only 28 year old.
Watchmen are used to check the shafts but the manning levels were low as the construction job was nearly at an end and crew demobilisation had started. The watchmen’s office had recently moved from the shaft to a position about 20 minutes walk away.
Manning levels to be improved to provide one man per shaft with responsibility for basic safety of shaft including barricades, electric cables, lighting, housekeeping hoses over walkways, etc.
Manhole covers shall be clearly identifiable and all manholes should have a cover.
Safety barriers and manhole covers should not be removed from the installed location without proper authorization.
Change management of HSE through to the end of the shaft construction job had not been fully thought through. Attention had switched to the next (marine) phase of the job.
Reinforce message to supervisors and workforce that if conditions are unsafe (bad lighting, bad housekeeping), then all people have authority to stop the work. Management talk to supervisors to reinforce their Safety Responsibilities to be held.
“. . . what worries me most is the inadequacy of supervision and the fact that work colleagues effectively created circumstances, which were undetected by supervisors, that led to the death of their colleagues . . . We must manage the beginnings of activities, changes and deviations to activities that we have started, and endings to activities. These beginnings, changes, endings may be on a large scale – from construction to commissioning or on a smaller scale - any change to any activity in the midst of its execution may actually require a completely new method statement. We need to be active in predicting and dealing with them all.
Please remember to finish whatever activity you start and to never leave potentially dangerous situations unattended that have the potential to harm or kill others. The job and safety management should never end before the job is over.“
From the letter of David Greer,
Sakhalin 2 Project Director to all SEIC staff