Lesson Learned / Best Practice in Health & Safety


How many times have we heard, or even stated the following: “let that be a lesson to you”?  We all need to learn from past mistakes to prevent a repeat event or undesirable consequence.  Accidents and near misses are preventable but only if we first understand how and why they happen and take corrective actions.  It is for this reason that the CIF has developed this portal for the sharing of both Lessons Learned / Best Practices in Health & Safety in Construction.


Routine inspections and incident investigations may identify unsafe working practices, which can facilitate learning from operational experience (i.e. lessons learned).  The consequence of sharing of lessons learned across the wider construction industry would be fewer accidents, enhanced moral and increased productivity.

How to Share your Lesson Learned / Best Practice in Health & Safety:

There are two options for sharing a lessons learned/ best case example:

  1. Complete the entry fields provided at submit lessons learned page, or
  2. Complete the Word Template provided and email to: [email protected]

Best Practice / Lessons Learned should draw on both negative experiences and positive outcomes; for example, good ideas that improved health, safety and welfare onsite, and work tasks that would be done differently, if repeated.

Material uploaded onto the CIF webpage must be controlled.  For this reason, the CIF Safety and Training department act as a review panel to confirm that no content is uploaded that could conflict with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), cause damage to a company’s reputation or create liability for a claim.  Nonetheless, all contributors must take personal accountability for content provided.

Terms and Conditions:

Latest Best Practice / Lessons Learned Cases

2020/07 – Pick-Up Catches Fire
4 September 2020

While driving along a dual carriageway, the driver felt heat emanating from the driver’s footwell.  Quickly, the cab of the vehicle filled with black smoke. The driver pulled the vehicle over to the hard shoulder and departted the vehicle shortly before it went up in flames.

Read This Case
2020/06 – Suspected/Confirmed Case of COVID-19 at Work
10 August 2020

A few confirmed cases for COVID-19 were reported for construction in July/August 2020. The CIF engaged with the Health Services Executive (HSE) and others to ascertain any shared learnings for the broader sector.

Read This Case
2020/05 – Construction Work on Farms and Use of Concrete Slats
14 July 2020

The Health and Safety Authority issued this safety alert in 2020 following a fatal accident involving construction work on a farm.

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2020/04 – Hand Crush Injury
5 March 2020

Operatives were removing 1-meter kerbs from the shutter. The excavator driver was attempting to pick-up a kerb with the bucket of the machine when the injured person entered the red zone to assist the machine driver by lifting the front of the kerb into the excavator bucket. Subsequently, the excavator driver manoeuvred the bucket and caught the worker’s left hand between the kerb and the bucket, causing injury.

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2020/03 – Thumb Injury using Drill
5 March 2020

A worker was drilling unistrut using a 36-volt battery drill on an upturned cable reel. The worker was holding the unistrut in place with his left-hand and using the hand-held drill with their right. When drilling the unistrut, the drill slid across the unistrut and met the workers left-hand thumb, resulting in a serious injury to his thumb.

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2020/02 – Coordinating Interfacing Operations
16 January 2020

Two individuals working for a subcontractor were injured in a fall from height. Tragically, one suffered fatal injuries. The scissor lift they were working from was struck by an overhead travelling crane operated by a third-party contractor engaged by the client, causing it to topple over.

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2020/01 – Combined Mitre and Bench Saw (Power Craft Type 48455)
6 January 2020

The European Commission has issued a Safety Alert in January 2020 to notify of the cessation of sales of a Combined Mitre and Bench Saw of brand Power Craft (Type 48455) owing to reported safety and health issues with Batch number 5 709386 484552

Read This Case
2019/10 – Loose Scaffolding Banner
10 December 2019

A printed wrap / banner attached to the scaffolding of a building came loose from several of its fixings and posed a safety risk for passers-by and to traffic.

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2019/09 – Tumble Dryer Fire
27 September 2019

On returning home from work, an individual observed smoke coming from their detached garage, which was traced to a tumble dryer on fire.

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2019/08 – Failure of Job-Box Hinges
3 July 2019

The lid of a Job-Box slammed closed on an individual's hand resulting in a 10mm laceration of their right hand, which warranted surgery.

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2019/07 – Demolition of White Hart Lane
17 June 2019

An example of the success that can be achieved following a thorough evaluation of options and strategic planning of demolition works.

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2019/06 – Working at Height Fatality
25 April 2019

We lament the first confirmed fatality at work for the Irish construction sector in 2019.

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2019/05 – Uncharted Electricity Cable Strike
12 April 2019

A reminder of the potential dangerous when working near underground services. A worker was hand-digging a trial hole in a footpath when their shovel encountered an unmarked, uncharted, pot-ended cable resulting in a minor flash and some smoke. The potential outcome could have been much more serious.

Read This Case
2019/04 – Hydraulic Breaker Chisel Replacement
25 March 2019

An accident that occurred on a construction site identified some poor working practices with hydraulic breakers that have reportedly become commonplace.

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2019/03 – Stone Between Truck’s Dual Tyres Became Dislodged
6 March 2019

A large stone stuck between the dual tyres of a truck engaged in site clearance works became dislodged as the truck gathered speed and was catapulted from the rear wheels. The stone travelled across a road and foot path and came to rest when it hit a hoarding of a nearby site.

Read This Case
2019/02 – Temporary Working Platforms
15 February 2019

The 2018 Irish Water HSQE inspection programme identified a significant number of safety findings relating to temporary work platforms on shuttering systems. Examples included.

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2019/01 – Failure of Nut and Bolt Connection
17 January 2019

An incident occurred where a bolted connection securing a precast beam to a structural steel hanger failed. Following examination, it was clear that the retaining bolt support mechanism failed, in a progressive manner over several hours, resulting in the partial collapse of a section of precast.

Read This Case
2018/08 – On a day in August 2018, an Irish Contractor experienced a near miss that could easily have resulted in a workplace fatality.
26 October 2018

The site had encountered a known and confirmed redundant 50mm copper cable at various stages along the pipeline. The troublesome section of the redundant cable had been cut out using a consaw.

Read This Case

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Routinely, the CIF will share a safety alert for lessons learned; should this be of interest, it is suggested to sign-up for alerts of new materials here.

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