Bosun Injured in Sheave Mishap Highlights Importance of Safety Planning

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In the early hours of the morning, a dredger was heading into port to discharge cargo and some equipment, and the crew was woken to prepare the vessel for berthing. The bosun and the deckhand discussed the plan to use the deck crane to offload equipment once the vessel was tied up, reports MAIB.

The incident 

The bosun thought he had lots of time in hand so decided to prepare a 0.5t sheave, which was due to be lifted ashore from a void space. He removed the lashings that were securing the sheave vertically against some pipework and started to roll it toward the port side hatch in readiness for offload. 

The bosun was maneuvering the sheave past some oil drums when he lost control and the sheave toppled over, struck his thigh, and then trapped him under its weight. In considerable pain, the bosun managed to raise the alarm using his handheld radio. 

The crew mustered quickly, lifted the sheave off his leg, and administered first aid. The dredger arrived at its berth and the bosun was transferred by ambulance to hospital, where he received treatment for multiple fractures to his leg. He was unable to return to work for several months.

Lesson learned

The sheave was heavy and over 1m in diameter. It was not stowed in an authorized location and the crew had no lifting plan in place to move it across the space. The sheave was unwieldy and required careful thought to move it safely despite it being easy to roll. The bosun was unaware of the weight of the sheave and underestimated the risks and hazards involved in both its removal and relocation.

It can be very tempting to just crack on with a task rather than bother other people. Aside
from mutual support and help should something go wrong, a second person can ask questions, highlight risks, and challenge the plan. A thorough job done well may feel less efficient at times but can help minimize risks and reduce the likelihood of serious injuries, the effects of which may last a lifetime.

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Source: MAIB

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