According to IMCA, the Marine Safety Forum has published a safety alert in which a barrier tape mechanism handle weighing 278g fell 45m from an offshore platform onto the deck of a supply vessel.
uring routine supply vessel operations, a deck crew person on an offshore platform was establishing barriers for safe lifting of cargo onto the platform’s weather deck. On extraction of the fixed barrier tape the handle was seen to eject from the mechanism and fall, eventually landing 45m below onto the deck of a supply vessel. Whilst nobody on the supply vessel was on the deck at the time, this had the potential to have been a fatality.
What went wrong
This type of barrier tape was only used by the offshore platform deck crew and was all fixed to the outboard handrails near laydown areas. The handle was fastened with a grub screw to a round shaft with no keyway or secondary retaining mechanism. The design is such that as the tape spools out the handle spins; this provided the lateral force to allow the handle to eject out over the handrail and down onto the supply vessel deck. A review of other new and older mechanisms onboard found similar loose moving handles but none that would readily fall out.
- Check if similar barrier tape mechanisms are used and check integrity of handle fixtures;
- Consider relocation away from handrails to remove the potential for rotating mechanisms to fail and fall to levels below, the sea or supply vessels.