Arm Injury from Fall on Walk Board
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Consolidated Nuclear Security, Y12 National Security Complex, Oak Ridge, TN

Date: 

Topics:  Occupational Safety and Health, Operations, Maintenance, Work Management/Planning

Facilities and conditions that have existed for years should not automatically be assumed to be adequate. Always be on the lookout for potential walking surface hazards.

An employee incurred a significant tendon injury and hairline fracture of the wrist in a fall while walking on a metal walk board in a facility basement. While performing a group walk-down the employees foot slipped and slid off the walk board onto the wet floor below. Surgery to repair the damaged tendon was required. The walk board system was installed over 15 years ago to provide a walking surface that remained above a basement floor where ground water infiltration and spills/leaks from wastewater process tanks accumulated. The walk board system included 19 inch wide aluminum scaffold walk boards that were secured to wood blocks with screws. While this provided a better surface than wood planks and was resistant to degradation, it was narrow and did not allow room for personnel to regain their balance should an obstacle be encountered.

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