SAFETY ALERT: November 2015 | Reportable Finger Injury

Reportable Finger Injury

Following a recent serious incident that occurred during removal of a redundant Junction Box (JB), this Safety Alert has been drafted to highlight what happened.


Junction Box

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The cover was secured with a number of Allen key bolts. As the technician removed the last bolt, the cover rotated round the remaining bolt, coming into contact with the end of the technicians left index finger. This resulted in a wound extending from the centre end tip of the finger down to approximately the second finger joint.

After receiving immediate first aid on site the technician was taken to the local A&E hospital where he eventually underwent minor surgery to remove the tip of his index finger requiring a recuperation period greater than 7 days and reportable to the Health and Safety Executive as stated within regulation 4 – (2) of RIDDOR.

What Went Wrong?

The incident occurred due to the number of factors that went wrong such as the work area was open to the elements and protected through the use of a temporary scaffold monarflex shelter, which only extended 500mm from the front of the JB cover resulting in limited space for correct positioning to complete the planned activity. The Supervisor conducted a Pre-start work briefing and Point of Work Risk assessment (POWRA) with the working party; however, the restricted work area was not identified as a new hazard. In addition, the technician did identify the restricted space as a possible hazard, but he chose to continue with his task and in doing so compromised his work position.

Points to consider

  • Ensure temporary structures are designed according to work that may need to be carried out in the process ‘fit for purpose’.
  • Supervisors to conduct a thorough check of all aspects associated with the work area during pre-start briefs with the working party.
  • Work areas must be reassessed when new additional work activities are introduced or changes occur to existing work activities or its environment.
  • Everyone is empowered to speak up if you spot new hazards in order to allow additional control measures to be put in place.


Issued by C.G Lawson: SRC

© Steel River Consultants Ltd – 2015
Image 1:Library picture

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