• Published: 11 Jun 2024

Dropped Impact Gun

Dropped impact gun
Dropped impact gun

Description of Incident

A team of scaffolders were engaged in activities to enable the destruct of long-term scaffolding. As part of the work scope, a support scaffold was required for an exhaust.

As the team were engaged in the erection of the support structure, a member of the work party inadvertently knocked an impact gun as they were repositioning. The impact gun was not tethered, and as a result, it fell a significant distance from height.

It is understood the impact gun dropped to sea. The impact gun weighed approximately 4.3kg. Had the impact gun dropped to the walkway below (approximately 16.3 metres from the position of the work party), it had the potential to cause a fatality.

It should be noted that dropped objects to sea have the potential to damage subsea infrastructure.


The main cause of this incident can be attributed to inadequate risk assessment. The Toolbox Talk was not effective as it did not adequately identify the potential for dropped objects and the requirement for tools to be tethered. It is recommended that tools be secured with tethers.

In addition, Life Saving Rules were not followed. The Working at Height rule requires personnel to ‘secure tools and work materials to prevent dropped objects’, and the Line of Fire rule requires personnel to ‘take action to secure loose objects and report potential dropped objects’.

Supervisors should ensure suitable tool tethers are in use and available at work sites.

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