Skip to content

Lost time injury (LTI): ankle injuries during loading operations

What happened?

An experienced AB suffered serious ankle injuries during offloading operations. A vessel was delivering drill pipe casings to a jack-up rig when he was hit by the casing bundle being discharged. The casing involved in the incident was being lifted when it was observed that the Tag Line was entangled in the sling. The crane operator lowered the casing to around 1m above the vessel deck. The AB was instructed by the Duty Officer to untangle the tag line. Whilst he was doing this, the crane operator lowered the casing bundle without warning, causing it to swing towards the AB. He was struck by the casing bundle, lost balance and fell onto the adjacent casings lying on the deck. The movement of the crane did not stop, and the casing bundle was lowered further, coming to rest partly on the AB’s legs and partly on other casings on the main deck.

The Duty Officer immediately notified the crane operator to lift the casing and transfer it to a safe area. The AB was carried from the main deck and shifted to the ships hospital for inspection and first aid.

Our member noted the following:

  • The incident occurred in daylight, good weather and calm seas;
  • The AB was experienced, wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) and was fresh on shift in the last hour and adequately rested;
  • The crane operator was approximately 35m above the vessel deck and had clear line of sight to the working area;
  • This incident occurred during the 13th lift of 29 loads. 12 bundles of casings had already been safely picked up by the rig using the same crane;
  • No inappropriate, unsafe or reckless use of crane by the operator was observed during these previous 12 lifts which might have warranted stoppage of operations.

What went wrong? What were the causes

  • There was a lack of situational awareness/risk perception/risk awareness on the part of the crane operator of the rig;
  • There was inadequate communication or transfer of information and intent from the rig crane operator to the vessel.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents:

Members may also wish to refer to the following guidelines:

Guidelines for lifting operations (IMCA SEL 019)

Safety Event

Published: 27 July 2018
Download: IMCA SF 16/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
Submit a Report

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

IMCA’s store terms and conditions ( apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.

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.