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Lacerated finger during rigging operations

A member has reported an incident in which a crewman involved in rigging operations sustained a laceration to one of his fingers. The incident occurred during offshore operations when two riggers were working on the rigging and transfer of lengths of 16″ (40cm) diameter pipe.

The injured person was holding the handle of the pipe hook at the end of the pipe, and as the pipe was lifted, it made a backward swing motion and sandwiched his right little finger between the pipe end and the barge structure, resulting in a deep cut.

Illustration of right hand position holding the pipe hook
Illustration of right hand position holding the pipe hook

An investigation revealed the following: . Whilst a tag line was provided for safer control of the load, this was not used, and the injured person was holding onto the end of the pipe joint; . The injured person was an experienced rigger but complacent, and had placed himself in the line of fire.

The following lessons were learnt and incorporated into members’ toolbox meetings and safety briefings:

  • Always make use of tag lines rather than handling the load itself, particularly for lifts of pipes or other long and unwieldy loads;
  • Appropriate and sufficient risk assessment – including ‘last minute risk assessment’ should be conducted before engaging the hands;
  • Avoid placing oneself ‘in the line of fire’.

Members may wish to refer to the following IMCA guidance:

Additionally, IMCA publishes a wide range of safety promotional material which is applicable in this instance:

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.