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Edges and ledges – a slip on deck resulted in injury

What happened

A crewman slipped on a step grating and twisted his ankle. The incident happened as he stepped through a hatch on his way to a job. Initially he did not feel any pain, so he did not report the incident and continued work. However, as time passed, the pain increased and after three hours he reported the event to the officer on watch (OOW). The OOW contacted the client’s medical service, who provided an ambulance and evacuated the injured person from the vessel to the clinic. The injured person was assessed at the clinic in the middle of the night, and the vessel informed the office the next morning. Investigation highlighted the fact that client’s medics reported the incident to the company before the vessel.

What went wrong? What were the causes?

  • With regard to reporting:
    • the injured person did not follow company procedures and immediately report the incident to the OOW
    • the vessel management did not inform the designated person ashore when the incident occurred – again, not following company procedures;
  • With regard to the slip/trip:
    • lack of hazard identification will have been a contributing factor
    • the incident is still under investigation.

What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?

  • Discuss the lessons learnt with all crew members, particularly the requirement to report incidents immediately;
  • Consider efforts to identify the need to mark steps, especially when there is no colour contrast;

The company has a permanent “Edges and Ledges” campaign to identify all edges and ledges and mark all hazards.

Members may wish to review the following incidents:

Members may also wish to make further use of the IMCA promotional material on this topic:

Safety Event

Published: 9 May 2018
Download: IMCA SF 10/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
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