Poor condition of on-board equipment

What happened?

During ‘safety walk arounds’ on one of our members’ vessels, certain equipment was seen to be in poor condition.  In the first case, a fire blanket in the galley; in the second, a portable step ladder.

Fire blanket

A galley fire blanket had been used for fire extinguishing and packed away again, but no incident report was made of a fire having taken place.  It was clear that the fire blanket had not been inspected for a long period of time.

  • What were the causes – procedures not followed:
    • our members’ internal instructions for master’s inspections and fire prevention requirements had not been followed
    • there had been no weekly inspection of fire blankets conducted by crew despite procedural requirements to do so;

  • What actions were taken:
    • when conducting any inspection, ensure that all items on the inspection checklist are thoroughly checked – not ‘just a tick box exercise’
    • any incident (such as a small fire in this case) however trivial should be reported immediately
    • further inspections of all on-board safety equipment was indicated in this case.

Step ladder

A damaged ladder was observed as in use on the vessel deck during vessel walk around.  Further inspection revealed another ladder in similar condition in regular use.

  • What went wrong:
    • signs of corrosion on ladder
    • plastic support missing on bottom of ladders legs;
  • What were the causes – procedures not followed:
    • no regular and pre-use inspection of ladders established on-board
    • fall prevention requirements not followed: inspect all ladders and lifting equipment regularly and perform the required maintenance;

  • What actions were taken:
    • all on-board ladders to be inspected, numbered and labelled on a monthly basis
    • all damaged ladders to be removed from vessels and replacements ordered
    • crew to be refreshed on the importance of conducting pre-start checks on all ladders.