Skuld P&I Club issued an alert informing that it continues to experience incidents where crew members are exposed to the dangers of parting lines during mooring operations and during surveys, and vessels are seen to have snap-back zones marked within the mooring areas of the vessels, in contradiction of accepted industry best practice.
In October 2016, the Club draw attention to the dangers of mooring lines and the consequences in the event of one parting under tension. This complemented the UK MCA’s Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seaman (COSWP) best practice on mooring operations.
It was highlighted that in contrast to previous guidance, it was no longer considered adequate to mark snap-back zones on the mooring deck around critical points such as the warping drum, roller fairleads and the pedestal rollers only. The code goes as far as to say specifically:
“The painting of snap-back zones on mooring decks should be avoided because they may give a false sense of security.”
This was following research which identified the complex nature in which a parted rope can react and the area it can affect.
“Skuld would once again like to highlight to its members the potential complex nature of a parting line’s snap-back zone and the need to treat the whole mooring deck as a hazardous area. To identify all hazards which the ship’s crew can be potentially exposed to, it is essential to conduct the appropriate risk assessment then implement sufficient control measures,” the Club noted.
In addition, ensuring crew follow the prescribed procedures and that all equipment is routinely inspected for signs of wear which could compromise its construction are the best ways to mitigate against incidents and crew injury. It is recommended that appropriate cautionary signage is displayed close to the mooring deck entrance highlighting the potential danger ahead.
Upon completion of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) at the end of this week, the IMO is expected to finalise a revision of SOLAS regulation on safe mooring and also further develop new related guidance to support the safe use of equipment, aiming to prevent injury during berth.