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Lessons Learned: Shelf Unit Incident

What happened?
A maintenance worker was restocking a shelf when they climbed onto the shelf to place items on the top. The shelving was not properly secured and fell forward onto the employee, injuring them. Rather than seeking needed medical attention the employee tried to clean up the mess.

What went right:

  • EHS was informed of incident in a timely manner
  • Concerted effort to fix similar issues across campus post incident

Lessons Learned:
This incident emphasizes the importance of securing shelving to prevent tipping. It also highlights the need to place appropriate step stools and ladders in areas where employees must access materials stored up high.

Lessons to be learned from this incident include:

  • Shelving must be secured to prevent tipping
  • An appropriate step stool or ladder must be used to access items at heights
  • Employees must be trained to never climb on shelving
  • Employees must be trained on the proper use of ladders and step stools
  • In the event of an incident employees should seek immediate medical attention if needed. Post incident clean-up is a secondary consideration
  • If you find unsecured shelving, submit a service request with Facilities Management.

Click here for a downloadable PDF of this ‘Lessons Learned’ to share with your students, staff, and faculty.

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Last Updated: 4/13/21