A recent IMCA Safety Flash focuses on an incident in which, a bosun suffered a broken leg when a heavy sheave he was trying to manoeuvre, fell against him.
On a vessel going into port, the crew were preparing to offload equipment. Very early in the morning, the bosun decided to prepare a 0.5t sheave, which was due to be lifted ashore. 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 manoeuvring 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. With difficulty he managed to raise the alarm using his handheld radio. The crew mustered quickly, lifted the sheave off his leg and administered first aid. Once in port the bosun was taken to hospital with multiple fractures in his leg and was unable to return to work for several months.
What went wrong
- The bosun worked alone.
- The sheave, half a ton and over 1m in diameter was not stowed in an authorised location.
- The crew had no lifting plan in place to move it across space. The sheave was unwieldy and carefully planned and thought it would have been required before it could be moved safely, despite it being easy to roll.
- The bosun was unaware of the weight of the sheave and had underestimated the risks and hazards involved in both its removal and relocation.
- Don’t just “crack on” with a task rather than bother other people to get help – STOP and THINK.
- Have a clear, communicated and fully understood plan for moving an object of this size and weight.
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