The AB crewman was participating in a task to re-spool a wire into an aft deck tugger winch, when he climbed onto the side of the tugger winch. While he was standing there, the rotating winch drum trapped both of his feet, resulting to a fractured foot and severe abrasions.
Concerning the incident, IMCA highlights that
His boots (proper personal protective equipment (PPE)) prevented a much more serious injury.
The problems arose because of the fact that the AB didn't identify the hazards associated with the tugger winch, as he could have prevented the accident.
In addition, his colleagues could have intervened and tell him to stop, or even stop the job, in order to avoid the injury.
Also, the risk assessment was inadequate – it did not include this particular hazard associated with the tugger winch.
After the incident, the lessons learned were:
- “Hazard hunt” focusing on winches and the hazards associated with them;
- Review of risk assessments related to deck operations to ensure that the hazards associated with winches are captured;
- Someone was injured because no-one intervened or stopped the job; remind all that it’s OK to STOP the job if it’s unsafe.
It is not the first time that an injury has occurred from a rotating winch; IMCA has repeatedly referred to accidents from rotating winches. For instance, in 2018, a crewman had five fingers amputated when he positioned himself in a restricted space, with his foot placed on the winch and decided to leave.