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Fall from the quayside into water

Whilst slinging a palleted water bag (load), a third-party contract worker who was assisting in the operation fell approximately 3 metres from the quayside into the water. The original, risk-assessed plan was to use the vessel crane to lift the load from the vessel onto the quayside, however it was not available. This resulted in the ROV crane being used with no re-assessment of the task.  The ROV crane had less reach than the vessel crane resulting in the load being placed close to the edge of the quay and in the exclusion zone (as shown in the photograph.) During the slinging operation, the worker entered the exclusion zone to feed the sling through the side of the pallet nearest the quayside edge.

During this operation the sling appeared to snag requiring additional force to release it. The sling released more easily than expected causing the worker to lose balance and fall into the water. He was uninjured and self-rescued via the quayside ladder within 3 minutes.

What went wrong?

  • No-one stopped to think or STOP THE JOB;
  • Change was not managed appropriately – the new circumstances meant equipment was being used in such a way as to place crew in danger.


  • Emphasise the need to recognise and manage changes in operations requiring re-assessment and the Management of Change process;
  • Emphasise the need for good situational awareness and do not allow people to put themselves in the line of fire;
  • Ensure all third-party personnel involved in tasks are suitably briefed.

Members may wish to refer to

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