Alert 06 – 14 Caught Between Spooling Cable Results in an Injury

Alert 06 – 14 Caught Between Spooling Cable Results in an Injury


A crew was working dock side involved in a non-routine task of spooling off a multiplex control cable (MUX) from a rental reel directly onto a steel storage reel. The task was being conducted by manually turning the storage reel. As the task progressed, the reel became too heavy to manually turn. The job was stopped and an alternative mechanical method was devised by wrapping soft-line around the reel and pulling upwards with the rig crane, thus turning the reel. The crew commenced the rigging up of the soft-line and then normal operations were suspended to allow for a client safety seminar. The next day another crew continued with the task, however they did not use the soft-line and rig crane method as it had become too windy to use the crane. The decision was made to resume the spooling task by turning the reel by hand. The crew members were stationed on either side of the spool and between pulling down on the front and pushing up at the back they proceeded to rotate the reel to spool the cable. The injured employee was stationed at the right front of the spool and was pulling down by gripping the ribbed sections on the edge of the reel. As the reel turned, the IP’s right elbow lodged against the frame of the reel and his arm became trapped between the ribbed section of the reel and the angle of the frame. This incident resulted in a compound fracture to the right forearm.

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