Finger trapped and injured whilst moving hatch covers

What happened?

An AB sustained a serious finger injury when his finger was trapped while attempting to secure a forecastle hatch whilst securing the area following a mooring operation.

What went wrong?

The hatch being secured was heavy and in such a position that it required the AB to reach or climb up to open, close and secure it; this awkward arrangement resulted in finger entrapment.

The task was a common one using equipment from the vessel’s original design and build, and therefore the arrangement had not been questioned.  The hazard had not been adequately covered in the task risk assessment, and not reported to vessel management as a safety concern.

What actions were taken?

Our member made the decision that due to the weight, arrangement and position of the hatch being unsafe for handling, it would not be used for mooring operations and a temporary alternative arrangement put in place for running lines.  Engineering solutions available:

  • Fitting a motion damping strut, such as a fluid-filled gas strut;
  • Or, fitting a hatch in a different position that allows for safer handling and improved safety and ergonomics for passing lines.

In addition, hazard hunts conducted to identify other similar issues that may be present around the vessel.