A member has reported an incident in which a crew member was struck by a forklift truck during quayside operations, and suffered fatal injuries. The incident happened when a vessel crew member was tasked with unloading stores from a container on the quayside. He descended the vessel gangway and headed towards the containers situated close by. It was during this short excursion that the crew member was struck by a forklift and fatally injured.
The investigation is still ongoing, but initial findings have indicated the following as possible contributory factors:
- Blind spots within the forklift operators field of view from the operating cab;
- Obscured vision due to sunlight.
Our member notes the following:
- This tragedy is a stark reminder that when working near moving vehicles or heavy equipment, persons must remain in the operator’s full view;
- If you can’t see the operator, they won’t be able to see you;
- Remain vigilant at all times around ‘routine’ activities through exercising situational awareness;
- Don’t ‘assume you are safe’, ‘ensure you are safe’;
- During project mobilisation/demobilisation(s) and vessel port calls with/without project activity, focus must continue to be given to the following quayside arrangements: . traffic management . designated walkways/segregation from traffic . crane operations . landing and loading areas . vehicle banksman (where required and assessed as not adding risk) . storage areas . parking areas . quayside edge operations . pre-shift briefings/toolbox talks.
Our member took the following actions:
- Circulated a safety notice to vessel crews via a scheduled ‘Time Out for Safety’ and to the industry via IMCA;
- Revisit and reassess mobilisation and demobilisation plans, procedures, practices and briefings in light of the above;
- Review all Project Hazard Identification & Risk Analysis (HIRA) and Vessel/Site Risk Assessments to ensure appropriate mitigation and controls are in place;
- Review effectiveness of toolbox talks, supervision and working practices on mobilisation sites.