Jun 262011

This tar could give you a nasty knock

Some road, somewhere, is missing a lump of tar. We know this because the chunk in question was found inside the forklift pockets of a container. At 1.2 kilos it was heavy enough to give someone a nasty whack, warns Marine Safety Forum, MSF.


Says MSF: During positioning of a container on a rig, a large lump of what appears to be road tar was seen within one of the forklift pockets of the container. The lump measured 30 x 15 x 5 cms and weighed 1.2 kgs.

“The container, which had forklift pockets on all four side, had been round tripped, taken up to the rig and back loaded and taken back up to the rig before the hazard was spotted, some two weeks after its original dispatch.

The investigation could not determine at what point the lump of tar entered the forklift pockets but it could not have been at the supplier nor the supply base, both of which have fully concreted yard surfaces. Therefore it is possible that it was present for some time prior to the container’s original dispatch.

It is presumed that being sticky, the lump of tar was lodged against the top of the inside of one of the forklift pockets, only eventually becoming dislodged due to some form of shock to the container. This made it difficult for the Supplier to spot and remove. It is also presumed that it was
in one of the transverse forklift pockets and therefore invisible to gantry checks at the Supply Base.
The Oil and Gas UK Guidelines for the Safe Packing and Handling of Cargo to and from offshore locations requires participants in the supply chain to check for and remove all potential dropped objects. Whilst the probability of items sticking to the top of the inside of forklift pockets is low, the impact of those items falling out and causing harm is high. Therefore all Suppliers must include provision for checking for and removing such items.

Suggestions are:

  • Use of mirrors and lights on extended poles
  • Use of brushes and sweep-through
  • Safe systems for doing checks at eye height to assist ergonomics

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