A recent Safety Flash by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), focuses on two incidents, where a member reports two hand injuries, to provide lessons learned.
s a Pilot climbed the vessel’s access hatch to the under-deck passage, his backpack straps entangled with the hatch retaining bar. A sudden release of the hatch caused it to abruptly close, causing pain and swelling to the Pilot’s right-hand knuckle.
What went wrong
- The access hatch retaining bar was not being properly secured and this was not noticed by the Pilot;
- A third-party vessel duty officer failed to check the access hatch and proper rigging arrangements before the Pilot boarded;
- The access hatch is too narrow to pass through with bulky bags and this hazard was not recognized by the vessel crew or the Pilot.
A sudden movement of a small boat caused a seaman’s thumb to get caught between the fender and the quay, leading to injury. The small boat was being moored alongside at a mooring ring. It was high tide, so the mooring ring was about 0.5 m below the bulwark of the boat. As the boat approached the mooring ring, the seaman began securing the boat even though it was not yet hard up against the quay. The bow of the boat moved unexpectedly, causing his thumb to get caught leading to a crush laceration injury.
What went wrong
- Lack of proper risk assessment and job planning – the team failed to identify hazards associated with routine & non-routine tasks. Pinch point hazards were not considered or documented in the task risk assessment;
- There was a lack of communication and no visual contact between the skipper and the crewman;
- There was a lack of PPE compliance – the injured person wore no gloves at the time, though this was a company requirement for this work.
- Ensure that access hatches are properly secured;
- Heavy bulky bags or accessories carried by Pilots should be transferred separately;
- Better identification of hazards associated with routine and non-routine tasks;
- Better communication – can we keep in the line of sight and so keep out of the line of fire? What about a hand-held radio?