Ill-Fitting Of The Vessel Lathe Causes Crew Injury


Transport Malta’s Marine Safety Investigation Unit has issued an investigation report into an incident where a crew member suffered serious injury while operating the vessel’s lathe.

The incident

Whilst on passage from the port of Antwerp, Belgium, the fitter had just fabricated a securing pin for an anchor cable stopper. Using a hand file to smooth the surface of the nearly completed pin, which was mounted on the vessel’s lathe, his right hand suddenly slipped off the pin. The coveralls’ sleeve got caught in the rough surface of the pin, and his right hand was pulled around the pin towards the chuck.

Crew members in the vicinity reacted quickly and stopped the lathe to free the fitter’s hand. However, the fifth digit of the fitter’s right hand could not be saved, and the fitter was eventually airlifted to a shore hospital.


The fitter’s right hand slipped while filing a steel rod, and the sleeve of his coveralls got caught in the rough surface of the steel rod being worked on, pulling his right hand towards the rotating chuck of the lathe.

The fitter was gripping the hand file with his right hand above the rod being worked on. The crew members present in the vicinity immediately stopped the lathe, thus minimizing the extent of injuries suffered by the fitter.

The safety investigation concluded that the manner in which the fitter was gripping the file while carrying out the task led to his injuries.

Safety actions taken during the course of the safety investigation

Following the occurrence, the Company conducted a safety meeting with all crew members serving on Dogan and highlighted the necessary precautions when working on the lathe. Details of the accident were shared with all the vessels in the fleet to be discussed during safety meetings. The Company’s manning agency was also informed so that the details are included in the pre-joining training sessions. The relevant vessel’s risk assessment was amended accordingly.


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Source: Transport Malta