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Equipment on quay damaged when vessel started listing

What happened

During inspection of two pad eyes on a Tiltable Lay System (TLS) using a “cherry picker” or mobile elevated work platform on the quayside, the vessel slowly listed, causing the pipelay tower to come into contact with the work basket on the cherry picker.  The hand rail on the work basket was damaged. 

It is not thought that the “cherry picker” could have toppled over, due to the minimal reach of the basket and the fact that the load caused by the vessel was being absorbed by the deformation of the hand rail on the basket.

What went wrong?

Investigation determined:

  • There was no Permit to Work (PTW) for the task – no control of work on the quayside or assessment of vessel Simultaneous Operations (SIMOPs);
  • The Task Risk Assessment (TRA) did not include:
    • SIMOPS hazards of potential listing of vessel due to crane movements or wash from other vessels;
    • hazard of the “cherry picker” work basket being close to the vessel structure and clashing with it;
  • The different toolbox talks takin place did not discuss the other simultaneous tasks occurring;
  • The person operating the “cherry picker”  had no valid training for it.

What went right?

The platform on the pipelay tower was accessible from the work basket.  Crew in the work basket made the decision to exit the basket onto the tower and did so in a safe and controlled manner, unclipping from the basket and clipping  onto the pipelay platform before climbing across.

What was the cause?

Uncontrolled simultaneous operations: during the pad eye inspection the vessel was observed to slowly list towards the quayside due to a vessel crane movement;


  • Ensure Permit to Work is required for non-routine hazardous Working at Height tasks i.e. for tasks where routine established procedures are not in place and in use. Worksite management should be responsible for determining on a case by case basis when a Permit to Work is required for working at height tasks.
  • Review and update Task Risk Assessments to include potential for vessel movement and communication of SIMOPS activities;
  • Ensure that all work that can be impacted by deck activities, is highlighted and discussed at cross-departmental TBTs;
  • Have an effectively practiced and drilled plan for emergency rescue when anyone is working at height;
  • If unsure of the correct method to execute a task, or the associated risks, STOP the JOB and ASK!

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 10 February 2022
Download: IMCA SF 04/22

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