Aug 312009

imageSeven weeks off work was the reward for a seafarer who was climbing from one vessel to another alongside and didn’t see a three centimetre raised edge around a grating says a safety alert from Marine Safety Forum. Although the seafarer knew where the grating was, light and shadow camouflaged the raised edge.

Says MSF: “A vessel was moored along side another ship, port side to. No means of gangway was available, due to the fact that the lay out of both vessels differed. ]

He climbed from the rail fence of the vessel on to the fence of the vessel alongside, turning around with his face towards his own vessel and placed his right foot on an edge of a hole of the deck. Because he stepped on this edge he twisted his right ankle resulting in the injury.

He was aware of the grid, but did not see the edge around it.

The following facts were acknowledged and recognised as a contributing factor.

• Edge is the same colour as the surrounding deck

• Due to the different shape of both vessels, no means of gangway was installed

• Crewmember did not see where he put his right foot, possibly caused by the shadows of the railwork.

Preventive actions

Using a gangway when leaving the ship or coming on board is essential.

All efforts must be taken to avoid people climbing and scrambling from one vessel to another.

When alongside other vessels, contact your colleague on the other vessel, when you think a safe passageway can not be created.

The vessel where the accident took place has been requested to mark the edges in a different colour, to pinpoint the difference in height.

We advise all vessels to check all decks and identify and mark all possible obstacles.

Watch your step when walking around your vessel. A miss-step is easily made; the
consequences can be very severe!”


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