An incident has come to IMCA’s attention in which a crewman lost his right hand during mooring operations. The incident occurred when a service vessel was moving floating hoses away from an incoming tanker (a ‘routine’ procedure) using soft ‘pick up ropes’ attached to each hose. members of the deck crew and Bosun picked up and secured the first pick up rope. They had difficulty in securing the second hose. The Chief Mate (the injured party) came down from bridge and physically took over the job. He held the pick-up rope close to the ‘panama eye’ of the vessel with his arm through the eye of the rope. A sudden sea swell tightened the rope. His right hand was caught against the hard edge of the panama eye, and severed.
Investigation identified the following root causes:
- The Chief Mate ‘stepping down’ to crew task without preparation;
- A potential high consequence hazard was not recognised;
- The injured person did not follow accepted practice of seamanship for handling mooring lines;
- Others who might have challenged him and stopped the job were hindered by cultural norms regarding challenges to formal lines of authority.
Members may wish to refer to the following similar incidents (key words: mooring, hand):
- Finger injury whilst casting off towing line
- Two recent cases of hand and arm injuries
- Lost time injury (LTI): Crewman injured foot during offshore renewables mooring operation
Members are reminded to encourage personnel to look after their hands and arms. IMCA produces a range of safety promotional material on hand and arm safety, as well as a poster on mooring safety:
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.
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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.