Take special care when several different tasks are being carried out on deck by contractors, ensure risk assessments and toolbox talks are carried out and ABs should be proactive, are the lessons from the latest Safety Flash issued by Marine Safety Forum following a near miss event that could have resulted in serious injuries.
Says the MSF: “On arrival in port a number of different contractors boarded a vessel to off load a piggy back anchor, disconnect a connecting link from a 77m chain and change out of a gypsy winch. When the crane driver started to lift the anchor from the deck the crane jib was not positioned right above the anchor which resulted in the anchor swivelling and sliding across the deck. The pennant tail swung past the men disconnecting the chain link narrowly missing them.
“The master immediately called a halt to all work being conducted on deck.
“The subsequent investigation revealed that neither of the supervisors of the two contractors working on deck had reported to the Captain or Officer of the Watch, OOW, to discuss how the tasks that they were there to conduct will be carried out (no Risk Assessment or toolbox talk conducted) nor that the two tasks will be carried out simultaneously. The Able Seaman on watch at the gangway observed what was going on but did not intervene.
• The ship’s management was aware of the work going on but did not exert sufficient oversight to ensure the simultaneous work was planned;
• Lifting operations were poorly planned by the contractor who did not ensure that those disconnecting the chain moved to a safe area prior to the lift commencing;
• ABs on gangway watch should ensure the OOW is informed when contractors arrive on board to carry out a task so that bridge team can co-ordinate the need for TBT and RA to be conducted on board;
• Contractors should ensure that the OOW has been made aware of any personnel that will be working on board before any task commences and those personnel have been properly briefed regarding any hazards (TBT/RA conducted prior to boarding);
• Vessel management teams are responsible for work carried out on board. This should involve the periodic physical presence on the deck of the Chief Officer or OOW. Special care should be taken whenever simultaneous operations are to be undertaken.