AB Gives Two Fingers To The Grind

 Accident, Accident report  Comments Off on AB Gives Two Fingers To The Grind
Aug 092010

Defective grinder

An AB seriously injured two fingers because of a defective angle grinder, bad planning and safety documents in a language he could not understand says Denmark’s Maritime Authority in its report on the incident aboard the general cargo vessel Uno.

The cargo of six cable containers was secured to the tanktops using stoppers of H-section steel beams. The stoppers were to be removed by the crew of the Eno.

It was difficult to work in the space and the angle grinder used by the AB involved had a defective on-off switch and did not turn-off when the tools was let go. While grinding-off a stopper, the grinder slipped and injured the user.

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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

Safety Alert – The Lash of the Moor

 mooring, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Safety Alert – The Lash of the Moor
Aug 272009

imageRecent figures from a major P&I Club indicate that 14% of claims now occur as a result of mooring operations incidents says Marine Safety Forum in a recently issued safety alert. Elements in a recent incident involved a generic SJA, a chief officer who took a gamble and lost, and a lack of awareness of Stop Job principles that are well known in the offshore industry but, sadly, less used in the maritime sector.

The details from MSF are:

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Maersk Kithira Death – Staff Didn't Appreciate Risk

 accident reporting, casualties, fatality, seaman, ship accident, ship accidents, Sinking  Comments Off on Maersk Kithira Death – Staff Didn't Appreciate Risk
May 012009

A chief officer and chief engineer did not understand the hazards of going forward to fix a leading stores hatch in heavy weather, says the UK’s MAIB. Both men were badly injured, the chief engineer fatally.

Maersk Kithira

Says MAIB:

“On 23 September 2008, the chief officer and the chief engineer of the container vessel Maersk Kithira were seriously injured when they were struck by a wave as the vessel proceeded in heavy weather conditions in the South China Sea. The chief engineer subsequently died of his injuries.
The two officers went onto the forecastle deck to secure a leaking stores hatch and loose anchor securing chain following activation of a bilge alarm.

Although some measures were taken to reduce the risk to the men before they went onto the exposed forecastle deck, ship’s staff did not fully appreciate the risk of large waves breaking over the decks in the prevailing conditions, and insufficient information was available on board the vessel to enable them to make a full risk assessment before embarking on the operation.

Subsequent to the accident, the ship’s manager has provided its crews with enhanced training on risk assessment, improved its internal auditing procedures, and has amended its risk assessment relating to the movement of personnel on exposed decks in heavy weather.

A recommendation has been made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which seeks to establish more comprehensive advice, including practical guidance on the likely incidence of large waves, that should be considered whenever seafarers need to access open decks in conditions of heavy weather.

The manager of Maersk Kithira has been recommended to make improvements to its safety management system relating to its procedures for maintaining watertight integrity.”

The full report is available here

Sitting On A Drive Shaft Could Damage Your Tackle

 accident reporting, crushing accident, Maritime Accident  Comments Off on Sitting On A Drive Shaft Could Damage Your Tackle
May 012009

Jersey Evening Post reports that a French fisherman was seriously injured and taken to Royal Bournemouth Hospital for treatment after being lifted from the engine room two floors below deck by firefighters and paramedics.

He had apparently been sitting on the driveshaft when the vessel began to move, causing severe injuries to his leg and severing a main artery.

The dangers of working on machinery made to rotate without ensuring that it doesn’t operate unexpectedly are wincingly clear.

Keep Eyes Pointed In Right Direction To Avoid A Rousing Hand

 maritime accidents  Comments Off on Keep Eyes Pointed In Right Direction To Avoid A Rousing Hand
Oct 302008

The Ann RousingHaving your eyes open isn’t much good unless they’re pointing in the right direction. That’s a lesson learned the hard way by an OS aboard the Danish registered general cargo ship Ann Rousing in August at El Ferrol, Spain.

The ship is equipped with heavy metal folding hatch covers that roll along a coaming and are controlled by a lever in a box around 30cm to 40cxm above the deck. When the lever is released the hatch coivers stop moving automatically.

With his foot an OS was operating a lever to close a folding hatch cover, supporting himself with a hand on the hatch coaming. Another OS was working nearby. As he operated the lever, the OS took his eyes of his job and looked over to his crewmate.

It was then that the hatch cover rolled over his hand, inflicting an undoubtedly painful fracture that required hospital treatment.

Where not to put your hand

A moment of distraction that could have happened to almost anyone, true, but the incident highlights the need for procedures to be followed properly.

At the time of the incident, the injured OS had been aboard for 10 days but had worked a previous contract for four weeks. Shipboard familiarisation was given and a check list, with a box for ‘Deck cranes/derricks and
‘, was completed. He wasn’t instructed in hatch cover operations ands was just told to go away and read them. Among the written instructions was the warning “Injuries of hands if You are holding to the hatch coaming while operating…” (sic).

That, frankly, is not a good way of emphasising safety issues and the Danish investigators have recommended that the shipowner include instructions in its ship board familiarisation process.

Placement of lever set a trap for the unwary

So, perhaps the first lesson: ensure that safety related instructions are given, and demonstrated, during shipboard familiarisation, don’t rely on the seafarer to read up on them.

Placement of the lever wasn’t thought through very well. When operated with a foot it was a natural, and dangerous, act to put a hand on the hatch coaming for support. If there’s one like it on your ship, it’s a trap waiting to snap at the unwary. Recommendations from the investigators include moving the lever to a location at which hands can’t rest on hatch coamings or installing screening arrangements at control stations. You might take a look at arrangements on your ship.

The official report also notes that no safety watch was kept with someone standing by to press the emergency stop button. When moving heavy equipment, which includes hefty metal hatch covers, it’s wise to set up a safety watch – it could save more than your hand.

Not specifically mentioned in the report is a Job Safety Assessment,JSA, and toolbox talk. The warning in the written instructions suggests that a JSA had been done and the hazards known. It’s seems fairly obvious that there was no toolbox talk prior to the job being carried out. A toolbox talk, which need only take a couple of minutes, involves clarifying who is going to do what, the equipment available, the hazards and the safety procedures to mitigate those hazards.

Chances are that that if there had been a toolbox talk, the injured OS would have kept his eye on the job and his hand off the coaming.

Official Report here

No Safety Shoes – How The Toes Goes

 accident reporting  Comments Off on No Safety Shoes – How The Toes Goes
Jul 172008

A trainee fisherman lost the majority of his toes on the left foot in an accident on a trawler while fishing for Norwegian lobsters.

After having emptied one of the trawls into two fish tanks on the aft deck, the trainee fisherman waited by one of the corners of the hatch while the skipper closed it by use of hydraulics.

The left foot of the trainee was in the way of the hatch which either the trainee or the skipper noticed until the foot was squeezed severely by the closing hatch.

The trainee was wearing regular rubber boots.

Says it all.

Read the report here.