Gratings and grief all too often come together. A newly-released accident report from the Danish Maritime Authority on the Danish-registered chemical tanker Oraness presents an example of the genre that could have been easily avoided by roping-off a hazard.
Due to damage to a cylinder in the main engine, the cylinder head had to be removed. Two crew members, a ship’s assistant, with many years of experience under his belt, and a motorman, were assigned to make the repair in cooperation with the chief engineer. This task had been performed on the day before on another cylinder and the two crew members were familiar with the operation.
In order to lift the cylinder top it is necessary to use a portable electrical crane. The crane runs on an H-beam mounted in the ceiling of the engine room and going along the length of the engine room.
After having shackled the crane to a runner on the H-beam, the crane is positioned by dragging it in the longitudinal direction.
In order to lift a cylinder head, it is necessary to remove sufficient grating on the deck above the cylinder top. Before dismantling the cylinder top, the grating on the deck above the main engine was therefore removed. After having dismantled the cylindre top, it was ready to be lifted up.
The ship’s assistant went to the deck above the main engine and started pulling the crane forward to position it above cylinder number one.
Suddenly the ship’s assistant fell through the opening where the grating had been removed. In the fall, he hit a stringer with his chest. He landed on top of the main engine after a fall of approximately 2.5 metres face down on his hands and knees. Thereafter, he fell from the
top of the engine and on to the floor plates. He was wearing working clothes and safety shoes, but no safety helmet.
The result was three broken ribs. In one way he was fortunate – he didn’t hit his unprotected head.