The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published Accident Investigation Report 10/2020 into the death of the Third Officer of Seatruck Progress, when he was struck and fatally injured by a freight vehicle semi-trailer while standing on the vessel’s stern ramp.
What went wrong?
- The semi-trailer was being pushed ashore by one of the port’s tractor units;
- The third officer was facing down the ramp and talking on his mobile telephone when he was struck;
- He was unaware of the trailer approaching from behind;
The driver of the tractor unit was not expecting any pedestrians to be on the stern ramp and could not see the third officer due to the trailer blocking his view ahead.
What were the causes?
The MAIB comments:
- This is one of several similar accidents in recent years where both maritime and land-based industry best practice guidance have not been met: there was no physical barrier on the stern ramp to segregate vehicles and pedestrians and there were no controls in place to monitor the stern ramp and stop vehicles when pedestrians needed to walk across it;
- The use of mobile telephones and other communications media is an increasing source of distraction on working decks and in other hazardous workspaces on board ships, for which formal guidance is currently lacking;
- This was the second work-related death in 15 months to have occurred on board ferries operated by Seatruck Ferries Ltd and berthed in Liverpool.