The Britannia P&I Club, as part of their BSAFE campaign have published a case study into a double fatality resulting from confined or enclosed space entry.
A bulk carrier was loading logs, and the Chief Officer entered a cargo hold which contained logs. Upon entry he rapidly lost consciousness and fell from the entrance ladder. A fellow crew member who tried to rescue the Chief Officer suffered the same fate. They were later both pronounced dead due to asphyxia.
It had been noted that a rubber seal on the hold access door needed replacing. The Chief Officer descended into the cargo hold and after only a few steps suddenly fell onto the logs below. The bosun immediately alerted fellow crew members standing at the gangway, then made his way to the aft mooring station to get a rope. The Second Officer was at the gangway and alerted the master by radio. He then fetched a breathing apparatus (BA) set and also oxygen from the ship’s hospital. An Able Seaman, having alerted the Third Officer, returned to the hold and started to climb down into the hold with another crew member about to follow. The Bosun managed to prevent the latter from entering but the Able Seaman collapsed and fell.
The two men were retrieved from the hold, not without some difficulty, but both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Members can review further information as follows:
- Britannia P&I Club case study material
- IMCA videos
- Confined spaces: the dangers (“Are you prepared” series short video)
- HSSE 034 Working in confined spaces (longer training video)
IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.
IMCA’s store terms and conditions (https://www.imca-int.com/legal-notices/terms/) apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.
IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.