A recent Safety Flash by the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) focuses on an incident in which, a mooring rope (weighing 2.9kg per metre) hit a crew person and caused a broken arm.
he incident occurred as crew were preparing to unmoor and move a barge. The operation was proceeding as planned when one of the forward mooring station winches in use tripped out. The mooring crew at the forward station informed the Chief Officer about the winch tripping, using UHF. The mooring crew at the aft mooring station, on hearing this information, decided to stop the barge by adding an additional coil on the bollard. Whilst one of the crew was attempting to coil the rope on the bollard, due to a sudden increase of tension on the line, control of the rope was lost, and the rope hit the worker on the left forearm causing the injury. The injured person received first aid treatment promptly and was subsequently evacuated by helicopter.
What went wrong
Confusion, because there was a lack of clear communication with no proper instructions during the operation. The radio communication addressing the tripped winch was misunderstood at the aft mooring station as an “ALL STOP” signal. Instructions were given to secure the mooring rope “in slack” by adding another loop into the bollard. However, the barge was already moving and the mooring line came under tension due to that movement. The injured person was in an unsafe position, with his arm in the line of fire.
- Over-confidence may lead to poor judgement and making mistakes – if in any doubt, follow the instructions;
- Minimize confusion and ensure there are clear and properly understood communications;
- Our member arranged
- Further training on Line of Fire risks;
- Refresher training for marine crew regarding hazards in mooring operation;
- Awareness sessions customized to the role and responsibility of the Team Leaders and Supervisors, addressing the key elements of their duties.