OCIMF published an information paper on ‘Transfer of Personnel by Crane Between Vessels’, focusing on the use of an onboard crane for personnel transfer, that has risks. This paper addresses those risks and provides guidance that should be used in the risk assessment process to determine the method of transfer, comparing transfers using a crane to transfers using a pilot ladder and transfers using an accommodation ladder.
Generally, OCIMF recommends that:
- All tankers ought to be fitted with equipment that is certified for the transfer personnel;
- Operators of the already existent tankers should think of upgrading and certifying equipment at the next opportunity.
Specifically, OCIMF highlights that there are official guidelines and regulations when it comes to personnel being transferred by crane between offshore vessels and offshore platforms. On the contrary, as it is stated in the report, there are no regulations or guidance for transferring personnel between vessels, even though many are the accidents that have taken place.
Additionally, the use of an onboard crane to transfer personnel, has numerous risks. For instance cranes can be used to transfer personnel between two vessels of similar size, such as ship-to-ship transfers, but also between vessels of different size.
Most of the times, crane transfers are completed using a Personnel Transfer Basket, PTB, an equipment in which personnel is transferred including collapsible basket and rigid capsule types.
OCIMF recommends that the personnel transfer should occur at its minimum, to avoid accidents and maintain safety.
In the case where a transfer is considered, the ways of transfer should be evaluated by risk assessment procedures, keeping in mind that residual risks may be unacceptable. In the meantime, the decision of not implementing the transfer should always be an option.
For further information, see the PDF below.