Ship-ship and ship-shore transfers have cropped up fairly regularly over the past year so MAC is pleased to note a new safety publication from the Standard P&I Club and that next week is Safe Boarding Week in the Panama Canal.
The Standard eight-pager tells a grim story:
“The club has seen a number of recent incidents that have occurred during the transfer of personnel from a ship engaged in offshore loading or discharging operations. The consequences of these incidents have led to fatalities and severe injuries, which have resulted
in substantial compensation claims.
Reported incidents include:
__ back injuries when personnel were landed heavily on deck
__ fatality when crane wire parted
__ fatality when a person fell into the sea without wearing a life vest
__ knee injuries – slipping on wet deck when disembarking the basket
__ bruising injury caused by the basket swinging relative to the ship being transferred to and hitting the crash barrier
__ injury caused as the basket hits an accommodation railing
on the tug
__ leg injury as the basket is accidentally swung against the boom of
the crane of the ship being transferred to
__ personnel tipped from the basket as the basket is trapped beneath
an obstruction on the ship being transferred to
A notice from the Panama Canal Authority says “The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) considers proper boarding facilities to be an absolute necessity to ensure the safety of their personnel, as well as others using these facilities while transiting the Canal. In order to promote awareness and compliance with Canal requirements by vessels in Canal waters, the ACP will hold its Annual “Safe Boarding Week” from July 12 through 16, 2010. During this period, the ACP will emphasize and encourage safe boarding practices on all vessels arriving at the waterway.
“Safe Boarding Week” activities will involve inspections of boarding facilities by teams representing groups who normally board vessels, such as Canal Port Captains, Pilots, Transit Vessel Inspectors, Chemists and Emergency Response personnel, Admeasurers, Deckhands as well as ship’s agents.
”The ACP will continue promoting preventive measures to be taken in order to avoid the tripping hazard created by the retrieving line attached to the pilot ladder as well as the excess portion of the pilot ladders, which is very often laid out on deck. The ACP suggests the use of a box-like structure to be placed over the excess portion of the ladder that may be encountered at the embarkation point on deck. This will provide for a flat, non-slippery surface as persons transfer from the ladder to the deck of the vessel. This structure may be permanent or may be constructed so that it is lightweight and portable allowing for it to be used only as the situation warrants.
“Vessels at both Cristobal and Balboa anchorages will be boarded to inspect their boarding facility arrangements utilizing the enclosed inspection checklist. Vessels’ Masters will be provided with the results of the inspection. Those vessels deserving special recognition for excellence will be presented with plaques that will be delivered immediately after the inspection. Any vessel with boarding facilities determined to be below accepted standards, will have to correct the deficiencies prior to transit.”
So what we have here is a port state control concentrate campaign.