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More than a dropped object – the need for vigilance during cargo operations

UK Step Change in Safety has published a ‘Safety Moment’ describing an incident in which a car travelling along a road near a port was struck by an object. It is thought that the object was left on top of a container that came back from offshore and was being transported on a lorry travelling in the opposite direction.

The object weighed 15kg and came through the windscreen of the car, narrowly missing the driver – a mother – and her child. This incident could easily have been very much more serious.

Step Change notes the following causes of dropped and potential dropped objects:

  • Objects left unintentionally and not found before transportation;
  • Unsecured items missed during pre-lift checks;
  • Items detaching as a result of colliding with other cargo or vessel/lorry.

Step Change suggests the following helpful advice:

  • Pre-transportation checks must be undertaken and given high importance;
  • People responsible for loading and transportation must be observant and ensure loads are secure;
  • Everyone must remain in a safe area, clear of lifts until the cargo is landed;
  • All dropped and potential dropped objects must be reported to the installation and vessel owner.

Please circulate widely the ‘Safety Moment’ PPT presentation developed by Step Change describing this incident, which can be found on the Step Change website


Members may wish to refer to the following incident (search words: cargo, object):

Near-miss: Dropped object from cargo

Safety Event

Published: 12 May 2017
Download: IMCA SF 10/17

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