Fair Treatment Update

 IMO  Comments Off on Fair Treatment Update
Feb 052010


IMO Information Sheet No. 20 on information resources on the fair treatment of seafarers has been updated. It includes a wide range of materials covering  abandonment, personal injury to or death of
seafarers; criminalisation of seafarers in the event of maritime accidents including pollution incidents and shore leave for seafarers from a variety of sources and with internet links to available material.

Download a copy here

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.

Maritime Safety News Today – 9th July 2008

 grounding, maritime accidents  Comments Off on Maritime Safety News Today – 9th July 2008
Jul 092008

Fatal accident at Savannah ports
WTOC – Savannah,GA,USA
They say an International Longshoremen was working with the Stevedore Society of America near or on the vessel, The Saga Journey when the accident occurred.

The Spirit of Nantucket runs aground – again
The Virginian-Pilot – Norfolk,VA,USA
After about nine hours, the ship was refloated. Passengers were taken to an airport. A Coast Guard spokesman said it’s not clear whether the grounding was

Crew rescued from sinking ship
News24 – South Africa
Johannesburg – Thirty six crew members were rescued after a Spanish fishing vessel caught fire and sank off the east coast of southern Africa, the Cape Town

Crews still monitoring Miami cargo ship fire
Associated Press – July 8, 2008 10:24 AM ET MIAMI (AP) – Firefighters are still at the scene of a massive cargo ship fire that is smoldering on the Miami River.

14 boat migrants missing off Spain
International Herald Tribune – France
Maritime rescue official Miguel Zea said planes, boats and helicopters were searching the area, but there was very little chance of finding anyone alive,

Coast Guard OKs return of cruise ship to Juneau after grounding
International Herald Tribune – France
However, the ship does have structural damage which must be corrected before it can again carry passengers. Officials say the cause of the grounding remains

Ship Mona Lisa’s costly evacuation

RIGA- The freeing of the stranded ship Mona Lisa and evacuation of passengers cost Latvia 135,000 lats (EUR 192,000).

Ieva Aile, head of the governmental press service, told the Baltic News Service that Latvian lawyers are still negotiating with the insurer two financial positions that will decide whether value added tax is included in the total sum to be paid to Latvia.

2 BMI probers quit with guns blazing
Inquirer.net – Philippines
But veteran ship captains Rear Adm. Benjamin Mata and Commodore Amado Romillo went out with guns blazing against Sulpicio Lines Inc., owners of the

Philippineferry,Princess of the Stars,capsize,sinking, BMI, Savannah,port,fatality,death,Saga Journey,Atlantic,fire,Miami,

Saga Rose Death: Another Candle To Light

 accident reporting, enclosed space, MAIB  Comments Off on Saga Rose Death: Another Candle To Light
Jun 132008

Five investigators from the UK’s Maritime Accident Investigation Branch spent the night of Wednesday June 11 aboard the cruise ship Saga Rose, docked at Southampton, inquiring into the death of a 43 year old second bosun, one of two Filipino crewmen trapped in one of the vessel’s ballast tanks. The ship’s 300-strong crew is devastated, they’ve been together for 10 years, they’ve lost one of their own, and yet another family in the Philippines will lit yet another candle in a cemetary at All Soul’s in November.

It will probably be many months before the MAIB’s final report is released, it would be unwise to speculate on details, but already it is evident that safe entry procedures were not followed.

Initially, the two men were thought missing and a search was conducted, which eventually found them trapped inside a ballast tank. One man had breathing apparatus and survived, the other died almost certainly because of lack of oxygen in the ballast tank atmosphere.
That reveals that no safety watch was kept at the access to the tank with a means of communication in case something went wrong.
The tank was not adequately ventilated prior to entry. If it had been, the crewman would probably not have died.
It seems unlikely that the atmosphere in the tank was tested prior to entry or during the inspection they were apparently carrying out.

None of the ship’s officers appear to have known that the two men were in the tank. If proper procedures had been followed they would have known and been able to monitor events.

Because procedures were not followed a man is dead, a close-knit crew is distraught, a family is grieving.

The unnerving consistency with which these events occur is unacceptable and indicates something deeply amiss in training, competency and safety behaviour throught the industry.