Fitter Struck by a Falling Hook Block of a Monorail Transverse Hoist

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Hong Kong Merchant of Shipping issued a note, informing about an accident that occurred on board a Hong Kong registered container vessel, during which a fitter was seriously injured by a falling hook block of a monorail transverse hoist from a height of approximate 7 metres. The fall of the hook block resulted from parting of hoist wire during trouble shooting on the hoist.

The Incident

  1. The accident happened on board a Hong Kong registered container vessel at berth, while the crew members were receiving ship’s provision stores by using the monorail transverse hoist.
  2. When receiving the provision stores, the hoist failed to respond to the command from the remote controller. Two electricians were summoned to check the fault. Testing of hook movement was conducted by an electrician. When he pressed the button of the local controller on the platform of the hoist, the hoist wire parted suddenly. The hook block fell down from a height of approximate 7 metres and hit on the head of a crew member underneath, causing serious injury.

Probable Causes

The investigation revealed that the main contributory factors of the accident were as follows:

  • Due to twisting residual within the hoist wire, the hook block was not aligned with the frame opening of the hoist parking socket, resulting in the hook block being snagged on the frames before reaching the designed parking position. The repeatedly testing operation of winching up action generated enormous stress and parted the hoist wire;
  • The crew member was not familiar with the use of the monorail transverse hoist.
  • There was no sufficient planning and supervision of the maintenance and repair work; and
  • The fitter failed to stay away from the dangerous zone underneath the hoist.

Lessons learnt

Shipowners, ship managers, ship operators, masters, officers and crew are recommended to ensure that all persons involved in the use and maintenance of lifting appliances:

  • observe the safe working practice,
  • be familiar with the operation of the lifting appliances,
  • properly maintain those lifting appliances according to manufacturers’ manuals, and
  • always keep away from the dangerous zone underneath any lifting appliances.

Disclaimer: The above image is for representation of the below incident and need not be considered as an actual case image.

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Source: Hong Kong Marine Department

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