Lessons Learned: Trapped Finger During Mooring Operations

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A deckhand injured the fingers on his right hand during mooring operations, reports Safety4sea citing IMCA Safety Events.

What happened 

The incident occurred when a vessel was headed to the pontoon to moor alongside her regular berth. As the vessels’ aft port quarter came alongside the pontoon, the deckhand used the boat hook to pick up the ‘in-situ’ mooring line and began the process of feeding the spliced eye through the fairlead. He then began placing the line over the bitts, this is where the deckhands’ fingers on his right hand became trapped, and serious injuries were sustained to three fingers.

What went wrong

The immediate causes were:

  • There was insufficient slack in the mooring line to allow the task to be completed safely;
  • The vessel was moving forward as the task was performed;
  • There had been no risk assessment for PPE worn by the crew for this task with regards to impact gloves;
  • The newest and least experienced deckhand was completing the task and there was only a mooring line with a splice eye available.

The root cause was seen to be a lack of risk perception. This incident could have had a high potential for a more serious injury.

Corrective actions

The investigation highlighted several corrective actions to be put in place:

  • More thorough Toolbox Talks for mooring arrangements;
  • Review risk assessment for mooring operations;
  • Obtain and try out certain high impact gloves;
  • Review of training and follow up supervision and review of design of vessel mooring arrangements.

Lessons learned

  • Ensure that sufficient slack is allowed when handling mooring lines;
  • Where practicable, vessel should be stopped before mooring lines are placed over bitts, bollards, or cleats;
  • Ensure new personnel (persons who are not yet experienced on a particular vessel) are appropriately familiarised;
  • The use of single ended lines or the use of small rope extensions on the spliced eyes would avoid exposing fingers and hands to risk.

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Source: IMCA