Tagline incident

A member has reported an incident whereby an injury was sustained by a person during lifting operations on a construction ship.

A person was acting as banksman, but also assisted with the handling the load, weighing approximately 1256kg, which was being moved from the starboard aft side of the ship to its moon-pool area. The load had taglines attached to control the load as it was being lifted over ROV system containers.

To help steady the load, the acting banksman wrapped a tagline around a handrail, but his fingers became trapped when the load swung and the tagline became taut. As a result, a part of the person’s left finger was amputated and he sustained superficial rope burns to two other fingers.

The company involved has noted the following as ‘lessons learnt’:

  • The banksman was also controlling the tag line. This combination of roles is thought to have resulted in loss of attention;
  • The practice of using tag lines needs to take into account of dynamic forces when controlling movement of the load;
  • The practice of taking a wrap around the tag line makes it difficult to release in a critical situation.

The company’s instructions for lifting equipment and lifting operations were revised shortly after the event. The two key additions were:

  • An statement instruction that the banksman is to be solely dedicated to instructing the lifting operation and should not take part in any additional duties;
  • A new section ‘Use of Taglines’ describing the consideration of safe positioning, dynamic forces of loads, securing taglines and a warning to never wrap a tagline around any body part for controlling the load.