Crush injury leading to loss of tip of thumb

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Alert ID: 
Description of Task: 

Crush injury leading to loss of tip of thumb

Two personnel were moving approx 200kg of rigging gear, utilising a barrow. IP was pulling the barrow and colleague was guiding the barrow at the opposite end. Whilst pulling barrow, the IP caught right thumb between barrow handle and vertical H beam. IP sustained a crushing injury to the thumb of right hand, resulting in partial amputation (de-gloving) of tip of thumb.

Lessons Identified: 

Review mechanical handling aids suitability & fitness for purpose – especially trolleys of a similar design

Ensure issues are reported, not accepted just because “that is what is available”.

Undertake routine audits on manual handling operations and equipment

Ensure management of change process is carried out – especially revisit risk assessments when the task changes

Walk the route prior to transportation and evaluate any situational restrictions/constraints



  • Review current mechanical handling aids around the platform for  manoeuvrability and use through the use of PUWER assessment  thereby ensuring suitability and fitness for purpose
  • The reporting of difficult work conditions or equipment must be encouraged within existing systems. i.e. STOP ,PSI .
  • Communication of lesson learnt from this incident occur via the use of STEP CHANGE safety alert database
  • Ensure that Incident lessons learnt and specifically restrictions in the use of the barrows are communicated to supervisors and work teams through toolbox talks/TOFS and safety meetings
  • Review and consider increasing focus on audits of manual handling operations by line supervisors by adding into weekly audit schedule
  • Communicate the importance of the Management of Change and the need to revisit risk assessments even where minor changes occur
Information source: 
Contact Details: 
Step Change in Safety
Specific Equipment: 
Incident consequence: 
Lifting, crane, rigging, deck operations
Any Location Type
Cause of accident or incident: 
Handling, lifting or carrying