Safety alert - 07/2009 - Worker fatally injured in fall from grid mesh panel walkway

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

A general hand at a fertiliser factory was fatally injured after he fell approximately 13 metres from a grid mesh panel walkway. 

The employee was investigating a possible fault in the fertiliser conveyor system in the factory.

Some of the grid mesh panels which made up the walkway were not secured to the structure of the walkway at the time of the fatality, and could be lifted and moved.

Factors to consider

  • Individual grid mesh panels were not secured to the structure of the walkway.
  • When the walkway was first constructed and commissioned, individual grid mesh panels were secured to the structure of the walkway by four clips.
  • Approximately four years after the commissioning of the walkway, the grid mesh panels were removed for sandblasting and coating, to protect them from the highly corrosive effects of the fertiliser.  When they were replaced on the walkway following the treatment, they were not secured to the structure of the walkway. 


  • Securely fix grid mesh panels to the supporting structure, in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Regularly conduct inspections of grid mesh panels and replace damaged or missing panels and clips immediately.
  • Cover or guard areas with missing grid mesh panels until they can be replaced.

Further information

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident.  WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 29 Jun 2017

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