During mooring operations crew on a vessel used a pneumatic line thrower (PLT) to throw a mooring line. Several attempts were made, of which one was successful. Two of the “bullets” disappeared and a window was broken at a warehouse building, approximately 100 meters from the vessel.
What went wrong?
- There was no toolbox talk before the mooring operation;
- There was a change of plan during the mooring operation: it proved impossible to get a heaving line to the quayside and so a PLT was used, which was not a part of mooring equipment;
- The PLT was not used according to manufacturers instructions or recommendations;
- The use of the PLT was not covered in the existing risk assessment for mooring operations;
- There was inadequate communication with the mooring team onshore;
- No-one stopped the job; no-one thought through or assessed the potential risks of using the PLT.
What lessons were learnt?
- Pneumatic line throwers ought not be used during mooring operation alongside quay, due to the increased risk to people and property;
- Develop a solution to get a heaving line ashore from vessels with a covered forecastle, without using a PLT;
- Ensure changed plans are managed using a Management of Change process; ensure appropriate risk assessment and toolbox talks are carried out before mooring operation;
- Reiterate duty to stop the job and intervene if unsafe work is taking place.
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