Lifting Slings’ Sudden Movement Kills Crew

1296

Summary

On 11 May 2016, the chief officer on board the UK registered general cargo ship Johanna C fell from a large steel cargo unit that was being repositioned in the vessel’s forward hold. The chief officer was moved ashore and taken to a local hospital by ambulance, but he died shortly after arrival.

2

Crankshaft web being discharged (chain slings)

Findings

  • It was inherently unsafe and unnecessary for the chief officer to stand on top of the cargo while it was being lifted; the risks of standing on a load under tension were not recognised.
  • The chief officer lost his balance and fell onto the deck following the sudden and unexpected movement of the cargo and/or its lifting slings as the cargo was lifted.
  • The sudden and unexpected movement of the cargo and /or its slings was possibly due to the slings slipping from their intended positions.
  • The crew’s response following the chief officer’s fall was immediate and positive.

1

Crankshaft web dimensions

3

Position of chief officer prior to fall (simulation)

Following the accident, Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd, Johanna C’s manager, has prohibited its crews from standing on loads under tension. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has also taken action to include the dangers of standing on loads being lifted in its Code of Safe Working Practices. In view of the action taken, no recommendations have been made.

Action Taken

Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd has:

  • Following its own safety investigation, issued a Fleet Memorandum emphasising the importance of following onboard procedures and safe working practices. Among other things, the areas covered in the memorandum included:
    • Risk assessments
    • Travelling on top of loads
    • Proximity to slings and loads under tension
    • Work for third parties.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has:

  • Drafted amendments to the Code of Safe Working Practices for Seafarers, 2015 edition, that include the dangers of standing on top of a load being lifted. The draft amendments will be considered at the Code’s next planned review in early 2017.

4

Position of chief officer after fall (simulation)

Conclusions

  • The chief officer lost his balance and fell into the hole in the crankshaft web as a result of the web’s and/or its lifting slings’ sudden and unexpected movement.
  • The sudden and unexpected movement of the crankshaft web and /or its slings was possibly due to the slings slipping from their intended positions.
  • Standing on top of the crankshaft web was inherently unsafe and unnecessary.
  • The risks of standing on a load under tension were not recognised.
  • Deviations from the vessel’s onboard procedures related to cargo operations were not contributory.
  • The crew’s response following the chief officer’s fall was immediate and positive.

5

Position of crankshaft web post-accident

Recommendations

In view of the actions already taken, no recommendations have been made.

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Source: Marine Accident Investigation Branch

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