Fatal Crush Accident While Gantry Crane Moving A Hatch Cover

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On 14 July 2020 a port stevedore on board the Gibraltar registered general cargo vessel was fatally crushed when a hatch cover was moved by the ship’s gantry crane.

Incident 

A port stevedore on board the Gibraltar registered general cargo vessel was fatally crushed when he became trapped between the vessel’s gantry crane and a cargo hatch cover during cargo discharge operations at the Antwerp Bulk Terminal, Belgium. 

No one saw the stevedore position himself between the moving gantry crane and the hatch cover, but his likely intent was to assess the progress being made by his team working in the hold. 

The chief officer did not have a full view of the crane’s path from his control position and, contrary to the vessel’s documented procedures, a second crew member was not used to act as a lookout or banksman. The hatch cover lifting operation was not properly planned, adequately supervised, or executed in a safe manner. 

Communication between the ship’s crew and port stevedores was poor and the safety culture demonstrated by both was weak.

We conducted this investigation on behalf of the Gibraltar Government in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the MAIB and the Red Ensign Group Category 1 registries of Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

Safety Issues

  • the hatch cover lifting operation was not properly planned, adequately supervised, or carried out in a safe manner
  • banksmen were not used and the hatch cover was carried over people working below
  • communications between the stevedores and ship’s crew demonstrated a weak safety culture
  • stevedore placed himself in danger
  • stevedore was unsighted by the gantry crane operator

Recommendations

A recommendation (2021/126) has been made to Briese Dry Cargo GmbH & Co. KG to improve the safety culture on board their vessels.

Recommendations (2021/127 and 2021/128) have been made to Centrale der Werkgevers aan de Haven van Antwerpen to improve the safety culture among their port workers and to review compliance with safe working practices on board customer vessels.

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Source: gov.uk

 

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