In this report CHIRP received a message concerning crew safety onboard yachts.

According to the reporter

Recently I witnessed several deck personnel on the yacht on our port side working at height without any safety equipment. They were working at a considerable height above the waterline washing down with detergent, which in my opinion increased the risk of slipping and falling over the side.

The reporter also sent images to CHIRP to highlight the lack of safety measures that crewmembers face.

CHIRP added that they are receiving many reports from the yachting filed concerning unsafe working conditions, mostly focusing on working at heights with no safety measures. These highlight practices where the potential for serious personal injury or even death are present.

In light of this incident, CHIRP commented that the lack of safety measures is based on both the human element and technical considerations. Most of the times, naval architects and designers  focus less to the practicalities of everyday operations such as washing down or routine access for inspection purposes.

Also, although rounded or sloping housings and decks look better, they come with less safety measures, as suitable handrails, fishplates or securing points for safety harness carabiners or similar devices. Thus, the architecture of yachts may result to fatal accidents.

As CHIRP added that long-handled brushes will only go so far to compensate for thoughtless design. Every member of a ship’s company is fully responsibile for their own safety.

Those in authority positions in shipping companies are responsible for the safety of the crew members and they should ensure that the necessary tools and equipment such as safety harnesses and life vests are to hand so that tasks can be carried out in a safe manner, and should intervene when such work is not being conducted in a safe manner.

It is simply unacceptable to turn a blind eye to safety

... CHIRP concludes.

For the 56th edition of Maritime Feedback see also

  1. Committed crew prevents accident of cruise vessel entering port
  2. Fisherman prevents collision with rapidly-approaching boat