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Injury after crewman fell downstairs on external stairway

The MSF has published the following safety alert regarding an incident in which a crewman fell down the stairs and was injured. The incident occurred following recovery of the vessel’s daughter craft (DC) when the crewman had informed the Officers in the bridge that the small boat had been recovered and safely stowed. He left the bridge and was making his way down the external stairway to the boat deck when he slipped and fell down the stairs to the deck below. He broke his arm and was transferred from the vessel via helicopter to hospital.

Investigation revealed the following:

  • The stairs were in good condition and were fitted with grips which were in good condition;
  • The injured person was wearing all appropriate PPE, including his safety footwear, which was in good condition;
  • Weather: cloudy, wind force 3 knots, sea height 1-2m, although the IP stated the vessel rolled just prior to his fall;
  • The injured person stated he was using the trailing hand technique whilst going down the stairs, although he had a radio in his other hand;
  • There were no radio sling/holsters on board;
  • The incident occurred after the original work task had been completed. This was identified as a trend in this particular vessel owners fleet.

The full report can be found at

Members may wish to refer to the following incident (search words: stairs, fell):

Safety Event

Published: 6 December 2016
Download: IMCA SF 33/16

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