Hong Kong Merchant Shipping informs about a fatal incident where a second engineer felt from the PMA platform in the cargo hold at a height of about 15 meters onto the tank top while cleaning the topside area, without wearing a safety belt.
Hong Kong registered bulk carrier was having cargo hold cleaning at sea during her voyage from Bin Qasim, Pakistan to King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia for loading clinker cargo.
The 2/E fell from the PMA platform in the cargo hold at a height of about 15 meters onto the tank top while he was cleaning the topside area of the cargo hold without wearing a safety belt, resulting in his death on the same day.
The investigation that was carried out revealed the following:
- the work of cargo hold cleaning was carried out without sufficient site supervision;
- the lack of safety awareness of the crew who underestimated the risk of falling from the PMA platform and did not strictly following the requirements of the “General Safe Working Practice” of the shipboard Safety Management System (SMS) to wear fall preventive equipment when working at height.
What is more, the investigation identified that the preparation work for the cargo hold cleaning did not completely meet the requirements of Chapter 14 “Permit to Work Systems” and Chapter 17 “Work at Height” of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (the Code).
In order to avoid recurrence of similar accidents in the future, all masters, officers, and crew members of vessels should:
- enhance safety culture onboard to ensure the permit to work system to be followed and safety belt to be worn before conducting work at height; and
- strictly follow the requirements of the Code and shipboard SMS manual when working at height.