Carrying pipes? Bad weather? It might be a good idea to check inside the pipes before lifting them. A close-call regarding potential deadly falling objects found inside pipes carried as cargo has been reported by the Marine Safety Forum, MSF.
A vessel completed discharging a cargo of 20 inch uncapped casing to an offshore installation after a period of adverse weather. During routine operations on the installation a metal section was found inside one of the discharged joints of 20 inch casing.
The Drops Calculator classed the potential as a fatality if the object were to be dropped from more than 2.4 m.
Two days later a wooden wedge was found inside another 20 inch joint of casing. The Drops Calculator classed the potential as a fatality if the object were to be dropped from more than 3.7 m.
Both objects were identified as belonging to the vessel and had become lodged inside the casing due to shipping water on deck during the period of adverse weather conditions experienced prior to working the installation. The vessel has since painted all wooden wedges white on their top sides
to make them easier to see in the dark.
All personnel are reminded to comply with the requirements of the NWEA Guidelines “Visually check all lifts for loose items (tools, debris, etc.) before commencing discharge or loading. If these are seen during lift, advise installation immediately. Note the unit ID number and report the incident.”
In the case of larger pipe cargoes, which are usually loaded uncapped, consider the use of a torch during hours of darkness. Dropped objects are an extremely serious threat to safety and the company involved is actively working with all charterers to improve awareness both offshore and within
the marine industry.