Top 4 Hook Awareness Checks to Avert Disasters


What Happened:

A routine operation was carried out to transfer a bulk hose between a platform and a PSV, with the help of the platform crane.

As the hose landed on the vessel deck, one of the AB’s went to release the hook from the lifting sling. While slightly bending forward and down to clear the hook, the crotch strap on the AB’s lifejacket formed a larger than normal bight. As the AB released the hook it was incorrectly placed inside the bight and as he returned to the upright position the hook was caught. Unfortunately, the AB did not notice this, and then subsequently signalled to the crane operator to “hoist”. This resulted in the AB being lifted above the deck and out over the side of the vessel. The AB’s immediate reaction was to hold onto the pennant wire to keep tension off the crotch strap. The crane driver and second AB quickly became aware of the situation and were able to land the AB safely back on deck. The duration of the incident was in the region of 11 seconds from the AB being lifted and returned to deck.


  • The crotch strap on the lifejacket was not suitably tightened on this occasion. A change in body posture created a larger than normal “bight” which allowed the hook to be attached.
  • The hook and lifting sling landed directly on the deck of the vessel.
  • AB’s posture during the disconnection of hook.
  • A momentary lack of awareness on the actual location of the hook, i.e. left open, close to the body, the signal to hoist.


Fortunately, No personal injury was sustained during this incident. However, there was a high potential of it. Similar incidents have occurred in the industry.

  1. Hook awareness – ensure hook is clear of the body and any snagging hazards.
  2. Buddy check during the toolbox talk prior to task commencement.
  3. Raise awareness across fleet for all lifting operations.
  4. Discuss with Industry and fleet deck crews on a suitable “pause point” prior to giving signal to crane operator.

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Source: Marine Safety Forum


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