Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

Process: Surface Preparation and Preservation


Falls: Case History

Photo describing case history

Illustration describing case history

A worker was assigned to a painting job on the outside of a ship’s hull. He drove his aerial lift under the ship and raised the basket. While adjusting the basket’s final position under the hull, the worker unknowingly created spring tension on the boom of the lift.

Illustraton of worker laying on side

When the worker completed painting in the initial area, he moved the lift backward without lowering the basket. This suddenly released the spring tension, throwing the worker over the top rail. The worker was not wearing a personal fall arrest system that was tied off, and as a result he was killed from the fall.

Analysis and Preventive Measures

Photo of workers using fall protection in aerial lift

Employers must ensure that workers understand all of the potential hazards associated with operating aerial lifts. Incidents can be prevented by implementing a training program and requiring each worker to have an operator's permit for mobile equipment.

The fall in the example above may have been prevented if the appropriate fall protection was used, as required in aerial lifts (29 CFR 1910.67(c)(2)(v)).

For additional guidance on aerial lift use over water, see the OSHA publication Aerial Lift Fall Protection Over Water in Shipyards (OSHA 3452 – 2011 – English* and OSHA 3475 – 2012 - Spanish*).







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