The Incident

A crew member injured his leg while moving a mud agitator with unprotected blades. When the incident occurred, the vessel was navigating close to the port. First aid was immediately given to the seafarer on-board. When the vessel arrived onshore, the crewmember was given further examination and treatment of the wound at a clinic. The injured person returned to the vessel on the same day.

Probable Cause

There was inadequate risk awareness. Specifically, risks could have been eliminated by protecting the blades before lifting and handling the agitator. Moreover, waiting until the vessel reached port could also have reduced manual handling risks. Manual handling practice could have been enhanced while the agitator was suspended by chain blocks during the work, while gripping the blades using pieces of rags, in comparison to wearing gloves. As a result, the load slipped from his hands and hit the crew members’ leg. A rope or another hands-off approach could have been used to turn,move,stabilise the load.

Lessons Learned

Better risk awareness is needed when moving objects with blades or sharp edges:

•protect the sharp edges;

•arrange lifting and moving of load without actual manual handling, like ropes, tag lines etc;

•wait until more crewmebers are available and/or vessel is in port, as appropriate;

•use proper personal protective equipment, such as gloves.