Construction Site Safety, Insulation Impaling Pins



Driving Event

DFRC B4822

Incident Report: A workman was on a ladder spray painting alongside a sheet metal panel wall which had previously been insulated with large continuous insulation batts. The insulation was installed on impaling pins about 1/8" x 8" long. The insulation crew had not trimmed or nipped off the excess projecting pins, leaving 2 to 3 inches projecting from the wall. The painter dropped a can or tool and he lunged to catch it. The ladder shifted abruptly. He instinctively put out his hand to steady his situation and impaled his hand on one of the projecting pins. When he pulled his hand off of the pin, he suffered profuse arterial bleeding.

The medical team responded quickly, and the painter's wound was treated and bandaged at the site. The area required a blood clean-up. The workman was sent home that afternoon, but returned to work the next morning.

Lesson(s) Learned

  1. Impaling pins present a jobsite hazard.
  2. Working around impaling pins requires extra care and proper equipment.
  3. Activity hazard analysis for all on-going work must be reviewed with ALL trades on a daily basis.


  1. Use a more stable ladder for high work.
  2. Use a safer, more stable, roll-around scaffold when hazardous pins are present.
  3. Cut off and trim all impaling pins prior to other adjacent contract operations.
  4. Consider using other insulation support methods instead of impaling pins.
  5. Modify Specifications to include "prompt nipping, trimming and safing of projecting impaling pins."
  6. When pins are present, include impaling pin hazards in daily safety meetings and in activity hazard analysis.

Program Relation


Program/Project Phase

No project/program listed

Mission Directorate(s)

  • Aeronautics Research
  • Human Exploration and Operations


No topic(s) listed