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High potential incident: person struck by Yokohama fender

What happened

During the lifting of a Yokohama fender onboard a vessel in harbour, a person placed himself in the line of fire between the fender and bumper bars protecting an electrical services panel. He was struck and injured as the fender moved. The injured person had to move into the line of fire between the fender and the bumper bars in order to release cargo strap sea fastenings from the fender which were attached to the vessel bulwark. At this point the Yokohama fender pivoted and he became trapped between the fender and the bumper bar frame. Operations were immediately stopped and the vessel medic was called.  The injured person was taken to a shore-side hospital for further examination. After medical examination he was released back to the vessel the same day.

Yokohama fender and bumper bar positioning
Cargo strap sea fastening still attached to Yokohama fender

What went wrong

  • In this particular instance, this Yokohama fender was not accessed from the rear, as was usual, but from a position that put the crewman in the line of fire;
  • Neither the vessel task plan nor the Task Risk Assessment (TRA) for mooring operations included the lifting and installation of Yokoyama Fenders, nor did they take into account the line of fire risk;
  • Human factors and risk perception – the injured person did not wait for the Yokoyama fender to stabilise before going into the line of fire. The incident occurred very fast; there was no time for the other members of the team to react and intervene.
Post Incident re-enactment – where the person stood at the time of the incident

Actions taken

  • Reviewed how Yokohama fenders are stored on board vessels, with reference to reducing and controlling Line of Fire risks in the task of securing and relocating fenders;
  • Reviewed vessel task plan and risk assessments for mooring operations, to ensure inclusion of:
    • lifting and installation of Yokohama fenders where appropriate;
    • Line of fire, personnel positioning, entrapment risks and escape routes.
  • Heightened focus on controls, barriers, and risk management where Line of Fire risks have been identified;
  • Considered regular “After Task” reviews as a key part of task planning to focus on learning, safety, and human/performance improvement;
  • Ensured that the obligation and expectation to exercise the Stop Work Authority is clearly communicated and understood by all parties. Always ensure an area is safe before entering after an All Stop has been called.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 16 February 2023
Download: IMCA SF 05/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
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