Step Change in Safety has published the following safety alert regarding an incident in which lifeboat launch capability was compromised. The incident occurred when scaffolding was erected in close proximity to the lifeboat. It had been erected to allow safe access for sub-contract personnel to surrounding structures. During a worksite visit it was noted that the scaffold had been erected around the winch chain on the aft end of the lifeboat.
This would have rendered the lifeboat very difficult to launch. It was identified that the opening left to allow the winch chain and winch block to pass through was significantly smaller than the winch block itself. On the underside of the scaffold boards there was a scaffold pole support that would also have impaired the descent of the lifeboat.
The full report can be found at stepchangeinsafety.net/safer-conversations/safety-alerts/lifeboat-launch-capability-compromised
No similar incidents where safety equipment was obstructed by scaffolding were found. However, members may wish to refer to the following incidents (search words: scaffolding):
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