Quayside dropped object

What happened?

A metal plate weighing 5kg detached itself from a freight container and fell onto the quayside during vessel loading operations.  The crew noticed that the bottom of the container had loose debris (rust) falling to the ground, and then a metal plate detached itself from the container.  The metal plate was 5kg in weight and approximately 350mm x 300mm – a sizeable steel plate to fall from height.  No persons were injured.

What were the causes?  Why did it happen?

  • The design of the forklift pockets in question are liable for the forks to catch, damaging them;
  • The visual check of the underside of the container was not completed as part of the pre-delivery inspection;
  • Current third-party inspections did not cover the underside of containers;
  • It was established that the metal plates were only stitch welded, which has meant that over time, these welds will have degraded. For DNV certified containers, the plates must have full penetration seam welds.

What actions were taken?

  • Inspect all existing forklift pockets. Those showing signs of damage or having stitch welds should be quarantined until rectified;
  • The underside of containers should be inspected prior to dispatch. Regular inspection and maintenance programs should be implemented.