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Unsecured cable drum falls, kills worker

Cable drums
Cable drums

A loose wire spool unexpectedly toppled, fatally crushing an employee.

Authorities recently investigated how a 2.3 metre wide cable drum detached from two steel stands and killed a worker at an undisclosed site on 24 September 2023.

Investigators discovered the power cable spool weighed about 4.8 tons (4.3 metric tonnes).

“One of the two steel stands supporting the drum gave way and toppled. As a result, a worker standing next to the drum was struck and injured. He was sent to the hospital where he died,” the Workplace Safety and Health Council said in a safety advisory.

They made the following recommendations:

  • place cable drum stands on level ground
  • remind workers to stay clear of unsafe work areas
  • ensure drum stands are rated to support the total weight of cable drums and cables
  • brief workers on the onsite risks, safe work procedures and implement risk controls
  • use spindle-locking mechanisms, wide bases and anti-tip designs to prevent toppling
  • demarcate unsafe work areas where practical and allow work to proceed only when all workers are in a safe position
  • equip workers with safety helmets with chin straps, safety goggles, hearing protectors, coveralls, gloves, safety boots and other necessary personal protective equipment.

Click here to read the full safety advisory.

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