Supervisor Crushed Under Falling Wall Partitions
While attempting to support a load weighing in excess
of 450 kilograms (1,000 pounds), a supervisor in a
pre-manufactured home plant sustained a serious head
injury. Assisted by two employees who were trying to
retrieve the fifth wall partition from a stack leaning
against a wall, they gradually leaned one at a time toward
the supervisor who was attempting to support them. In
the process, he lost his grip, could not escape and became
pinned under the walls. He was taken to the hospital,
where he died a month later.
WorkSafeNB's investigation revealed the following:
- The supervisor was wearing a hard hat at the time of the incident.
- Employees did not have a good general understanding of the
weights they were attempting to manually handle.
- Small items of scrap may have caused the supervisor to slip while
supporting the partitions.
- It was not normal to have this many partitions stacked at one time.
Recommended Preventive Action
- Materials and objects such as walls, windows and doors should be
stored in racks or secured in a way to prevent them from injuring
- Employees should be made aware of the weight and push/pull
forces that are required to manually handle objects.
- The employer should develop a manual handling code of practice
that reduces employee exposure to lift and push/pull forces over
23 kilograms (50 pounds).
- The employer should monitor manual handling operations and
provide appropriate training and equipment to reduce manual