Jan 222008

With a brace of ships coming to grief in rough weather in recent months and the folks in Devon complaining that they can’t see the wood for the seas, one has to admit that there’s a fair amount of evidence to show that when the sea moves, so do ships. I’ll admit that MAC might be risking its hard-won credibility in saying that this unsuspected characteristic of vessels to roll around when the weather’s rough might actually be true, after all, there’s a lot of folk out there who appear to think otherwise.

The London P&I Club’s latest Stoploss Bulletin recounts several injuries incurred during bad weather: crew falling while working aloft, a hand injury as the result of a heavy auxiliary engine part shifting unexpectedly, and a chest injury suffered when a power tool slipped as the ship rolled. In each case, the officer doing the rick assessment was aware of the weather but didn’t take into account the ship’s motion.

The report highlights an intriguing entry in cases where a job was being carried out in the engine room. Under the risk assessment entry for “Weather and Sea Hazard” was written ‘not applicable’. Says the London Club, “While it is the case that dealing with rolling, for example, is less of an issue for someone on the bottom plates in the engine room than it is for a crew member on the monkey island, these recent cases are reminders that, when a ship rolls, the engine room moves too.”

Odd, that, isn’t it?

The Stoploss Bulletin  suggests checking the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency’s pamphlet’s on leadership and creating an onboard safety culture, which you can download from the website in English and Chinese. Note though, that the link to the Arthur D. Little report doesn’t work.

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