Two workers were moving two rebar bundles each weighing 1800 lbs. to a concrete tank pad. One was operating a Bobcat, the other green worker was positioned in front of the load acting as a spotter. The first bundle had already been safely moved. The injury occurred when the second bundle was tilted from the bobcat forks over the first bundle striking and fracturing the spotter’s leg. Surgery was required and the worker will be off work for several months.
What can we learn from this event?
This Event Was Preventable
- Proper operating procedures were not followed – The Bobcat operator should not have tilted the rebar bundle from the forks. Blocks should have been used so that load could have been lowered onto them in a controlled manner.
- The spotter was in the line of fire – although he was new on the job and did not realize the risk, the more experienced bobcat operator should have planned the task, identified the hazards and then worked with the spotter to minimize their exposure. Increase safety focus could have prevented this injury.
- Stop and Think Before Executing Tasks!
- Always perform a Last Minute Risk Assessment (LMRA) before all tasks.
- LMRA is a tool to identify and reduce our tolerance to risk. LMRA’s can reduce our complacency on our job sites even during routine tasks.
- Plan all tasks, assess hazards and put controls in place to mitigate and eliminate risk.
- Never take short cuts, always follow procedures and perform a LMRA.