HE Alert! Looks at SMS

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May 022011

In its latest issue the International Maritime Human Element Bulletin Alert! points out you cannot produce a safety management system on the cheap, nor expect people to snap to attention and follow procedures when the top management fails to provide the resources, while failing to exhibit a positive attitude to safety.

Alert! highlights health, safety, security, environment and quality – the essential components of an integrated management system. Says the publication: “Contributors demonstrate that safety is not something that raises its head at safety meetings, but must be woven into the fabric of both the organisation and the individual, ashore and aboard,” says Alert!. Continue reading »


 alert, Safety Alerts, US Coast Guard  Comments Off on USCG CQD On QCV
Jan 312011

QCV blocked utilizing a wooden block to hold the valve in the open position.

US Coast Guard Port State Control Officers  are discovering Fuel Oil Quick-Closing Valves, QCVs, intentionally blocked, modified, and poorly maintained preventing them from operating as designed during an emergency.
QCVs are positive shutoff valves on fuel oil systems serving to isolate fuel tanks in the event of a fire and also prevent “fueling” of a fire in circumstances where system piping and components are compromised. In some circumstances they could be the only means of securing the fuel to a flammable liquid fire. These valves are designed to be remotely operated.

Inoperable QCVs create a very serious hazardous condition putting the vessel and its crew at greater risk in the event of a fire. Continue reading »

AMSA Turns Up Heat On Hotwork

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Dec 272010

image Amsa is reminding masters and operators of the need to have an effective hot work procedure in place following two recent incidents where the lack of effective controls resulted in the death of one seafarer and serious injuries to another.

Says AMSA: “The term “hot work” is used to describe operations where heat and/or spark(s) may be produced and is not limited to welding and gas cutting operations and includes operations such as grinding and abrasive cutting. Hot work presents two specific hazards:

  • open flames or flying sparks that are able to ignite any flammable gases and vapours (that are produced by liquids and solids); and
  • the hot work itself may produce toxic fumes and gases.

Continue reading »

Manriding Incident – Carabiner Failure

 Accident, alert, offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Manriding Incident – Carabiner Failure
Apr 252010

Potential serious injury was avoided because an offshore worker had hold of a cement hose when his carabiner failed. The carabiner was not properly checked before use and was not included in the maintenance regime, says Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority, NOPSA. Dirt in the carabiner seems to have cause the failure.

Says NOPSA: “On a semi-submersible drilling rig, the drill crew had completed rigging up for a cement job. After pressure testing the cement line, a crew member was required to open the low-torque valve. The valve was located at a height of seven metres above the rig floor and could only be accessed by using a tugger and man-riding harness.

With the assistance of a roustabout, the person in the man-riding harness connected to the wire rope from the man-riding tugger using a carabiner. Another crew member then operated the tugger to raise the man-rider up to the height of the low-torque valve.

Continue reading »

Safety Alert – How To Handle A Hose

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Feb 092009

imageConnecting hoses between a vessel and an offshore installation can be a dodgy business as the latest Marine Safety Forum Alert points out. How to make it safer?

In the incident a bulk hose was lowered be crane from an offshore installation to a vessel. An AB tried to lash the hose to the vessel’s outer rail but it was not fully secured. After the hose was lowered and the crane hook disconnected The vessel then rose on the swell, the hose came apart, the lashing gave way, the hose was whipped over the side and the coupling struck the AB’s arm producing crushing injuries, multiple fractures and lacerations.

Says MSF: “Hose snagging incidents continue to be a problem during bulk transfers between vessels and installations offshore. A method has been established which has proven very successful over the past few years. This was derived from discussions with vessel masters and shore-based logistics and marine staff. The method involves minimal modification to ship structures and reduces physical handling of the hose.”

The method requires the vessel to have up to three pins welded to the upper rail or ‘taff’ rail in the safe haven, near the bulk hose manifolds on each side. These pins are for hooking on the eye of a webbing strop, 3 tonnes Safe Working Load, and about 2 to 3 metres long. when the hose is being lowered to the ship.

Suggested hose adaptions

MSF suggestion for hose safety

The webbing strop, or hang-off strop, should be attached to the bulk hose about 6 to 8 metres from the hose end and have two turns around the hose, “choked” on the eye. The strop should then be prevented from slipping on the hose by use of tie-wraps or light lashings to prevent slackening and subsequent slippage.

The vessel will advise the installation of the optimum position of the strop on each hose prior to coming alongside. This may vary according to the distance from the hang-off position of the required product manifold on the ship. The crane driver will then pick the hose up and pass it down to the vessel in the normal fashion. As the hang-off strop nears the vessel’s side rail whilst the hose is being lowered, the crew will catch the eye of the strop, by hand or by boat hook, and fit the eye over one of the pins. The crane driver will continue to lower until the strop takes the weight and he will then lower the hose end into the safe haven where the ship’s crew will unhook the hose end. This leaves the crew free to manoeuvre the hose end onto the manifold whilst the hose is securely hung off at the ship’s side.

Suggested hose adaptions

Passing the hose back to the installation is the reverse procedure. The hose end is attached to the crane hook via the lifting sling and, if possible, the ship’s crew lift the hose over the side between crane hook and hang-off strop. The crane driver is then given the signal to lift and the hose can be lifted clear of the ship with no one in attendance at the safe haven.

Securing the hose this way is simple and very effective, in comparison to making the hose fast by lashing it to the ship’s side rail; Crew exposure to a suspended load is vastly reduced and minimal; Fingers are not exposed to the same risk when lashing the hose; Passing the hose back is much safer, as personnel involvement after hooking the hose end on is virtually eliminated; Minimum alterations are required to operate the system.

Hard Hats And Hard Heads

 accident reporting, alert  Comments Off on Hard Hats And Hard Heads
Aug 092008

As I got into the office of a client I was collared by one of the creative team “Is it possible that someone would take off his safety harness to go and retrieve a fallen hard hat?”

My response was that, just as there are no dumb questions, there’s nothing so dumb that someone hasn’t done it. In this case it was a worker at the Hanjin Shipyard at Subic Bay in the Philippines, which I can just about see from my roof.

The victim worked for a Korean contractor at the shipyard which has already totted up four of the 14 known fatalities at the site in the past year, and the second or third to die falling off a roof. The contractor’s services have, MAC understands, been terminated.

The worker was on the roof of the drydock, 29 metres up and attached to a safety harness. His hard hat fell off. When he couldn’t reach it, he released himself from the harness and, as he reached for his hardhat, slipped and fell to his death. He was wearing rubber flip-flops and recent rains may have made the roof slippery.

First, of course, had he worn his hard hat properly it wouldn’t have fallen off. Then he wouldn’t have felt it necessary to release himself from the harness to try and retrieve it. Then he wouldn’t have been killed.

Had he been wearing correct footwear, he might not have slipped.

While slightly different, The Case Of The Acidic Assassin features a similar situation in which a hard hat was not worn properly and may have contributed to a fatality.

Of course, there should have been a safety officer at the Hanjin site alert enough to spot what is a common a problem as workers wearing flip-flops at height (Yes, the victim wore those, too).

Make sure you wear your hard hat properly otherwise it will fall off and your head is nowhere near as hard as the hat, or the ground it’s going to hit.

Also, be safety aware not just for yourself, but your co-workers. Certainly, they might get annoyed if you tell them to put their hats on properly but maybe its better to accept the risk of being annoying than then risk of having to scrape their brains off the ground and into a bucket.

MSF Advises Crane Sheave Check

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Jun 082008

MSF advises crane sheave check

Following an accident on 22nd May, 2008, caused by the failure of sheaves to rotate, Marine Safety Forum has recommended  that chief engineers or other competent persons on vessels equipped with a model of Hydralift cranes and similar should check for any signs of wear that would indicate a potential failure of the sheaves to operate as designed.

MSF recommeds that these checks should be daily until the cause of the failure has been established by the crane manufacturer. Any defect found should be reported to the crane manufacturers.

All vessels with cranes that regularly operate Subsea should check sheave integrity and visibly check rotation of all sheaves and should be aware of how quickly a failure of this nature could occur particularly when operating with heave compensated systems.

In the incident the vessel crane was involved in operations where a 20t clump weight was suspended from the crane main hoist wire. The seabed depth of the field was in the region of 1600m. It is not known to what depth the crane was deployed at the time of failure though it is
believed there could have been in excess of 1400m of wire rope deployed.

The crane in operation was a Hydralift Offshore Pedestal Crane Articulated Box Job Active
Heave Compensated. Model OC3432KSCE-(40-150)-(30-11)(21)(10-32). Immediate investigation identified the failure point of the wire rope to have been at the second sheave of the knuckle boom.

Subsequent inspection of the sheave has identified significant damage that would be consistent with the sheave failing to rotate during the operation of the crane. The resultant wear on the wire rope is potentially the cause of the rope failing.

The crane was installed in 2006 has been in operation for no more than two years. At ther time of the accident it was operating with the heave compensation engaged at the time of the failure.

Adises MSF:

• All vessels that are operating cranes of the same model or similar should carry
out as soon as possible an inspection of crane sheaves to identify any signs of
wear that would indicate a potential failure of the sheaves to operate as
designed. This inspection should be carried out by the vessel Chief Engineer or
other competent person.

• These checks should be daily until the cause of the failure has been established
by the crane manufacturer. Any defect found should be reported to the crane

• All vessels with cranes that regularly operate Subsea should check sheave
integrity and visibly check rotation of all sheaves and should be aware of how
quickly a failure of this nature could occur particularly when operating with heave
compensated systems.

Source: MSF Safety Flash 08-24

Maritime Safety News Today – 8th February 2008

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Feb 082008
The burning ship has started to move away from shore, and the emergency centre in Pula has announced that the drama will continue overnight.

Blazing freighter threatens oil spill off Croatia

Guardian Unlimited – UK
Tug boats were cooling the shell of the Turkish ship to prevent it from melting and allowing the ship’s cargo to pollute the sea. The accident happened 13  

Safety Assessment of Container Ships

Container ships have been increasing in size noticeably in recent years, and very large container ships with load capacity exceeding 10,000 TEU have been completed worldwide. Very large 8,000 TEU class container ships have already been built to NK class. With the increasing size of the hull, very thick steel plates exceeding 70mm in thickness are being used in the hull structure around the upper deck. Laboratory studies in recent years, however, have reported that brittle cracks that occur in the welds of very thick steel plates in fact propagate in straight lines without swerving and may not stop even after penetrating the parent material, which is contrary to conventional wisdom.

Owner sues US over grounding

NEW YORK, NY 7 February – Seaspan Ship Management and Seaspan Corp, owners of the container ship New Delhi Express are suing the US government over an April 2006 grounding in Kill Van Kull – blaming the mishap on inaccurate charts and an out-of-position buoy. The $3M lawsuit was filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Seaspan’s behalf by the maritime law firm of Chalos, O’Connor & Duffy. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff charges that the vessel grounding occurred because the ship was relying on Bergen Point Lighted Buoy 14 while making a turn in heavy fog. The suit alleges that, “unbeknownst to the master, compulsory docking pilot or to the plaintiff”, the buoy was some 25 yards away from its charted position and that the pilot and crew relied on the charts. The suit specifically blames the USCG, which maintains the buoy, and the National Ocean Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which maintains charts for the area. An earlier finding by the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the pilot in the grounding of the 4,253-TEU Hapag-Lloyd-operated ship.

DFA warns seamen
Tempo – Manila,Philippines
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has warned Filipino seafarers against illegal recruitment agencies in Singapore that promise high-salaried jobs as 

Posted 02/06/08 at 10:17 AM
A repair ship began work at the site where an Internet cable was cut last week in the Persian Gulf, and a second vessel was to arrive later that day at the spot north of Egypt where two other cables were cut just two days earlier, FLAG Telecom said…

Maritime Safety News Today, September 5, 2007

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Sep 052007

Investigators eye water pump in deadly sinking
KOMO – Seattle,WA,USA
“That may have lead to the sinking of the vessel.” Investigators are still working to determine exactly what went wrong. The Papa George operated out of

Marine Pollution in the Wake of Haifa Boat Collision
Israel Ministry of the Environment – Jerusalem,Israel
The collision and subsequent sinking of the ship led to the spill of large quantities of diesel oil, which settled on the shores of Kiryat Haim and Kiryat

Maritime Global Net – Warren,RI,USA
Meanwhile, The Swedish Club continues to make a significant global contribution, through the Maritime Resource Management (MRM) training programme.

Coast Guard Issues New Oil Barge Regulations

Posted 08/31/07 at 02:15 PM

According to reports, the Coast Guard has issued new rules governing the transportation of oil through Buzzards Bay that require single-hulled tankers and oil barges to be escorted by a second tugboat…

APL-Developed Automatic Device Could Indicate Boats in Distress
Johns Hopkins Gazette – Baltimore,MD,USA
A former naval architect with the Coast Guard, Borlase has conducted many maritime accident investigations. His inspiration for AIDD came after

Calls to share cost of Malacca Straits safety IMO urges users and stakeholders to share the cost of funding projects aimed at boosting safety in the strait.

Six missing after collision off east China