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LTI Incident – Crew Struck by Cargo During Lifting Operations

What happened

During routine cargo operation on the main deck, crew were unlashing the load (an empty pipe container) when the crane operator lifted the load without warning.  One crewman was struck in the chest and flung backwards approximately one metre. The situation was made worse as immediate medical attention could not be provided because the load became stuck between containers.  Once the load was lifted away the injured person was moved to a safe area and provided with medical attention and medevac was arranged by chopper to hospital for further treatment.

Injured person attempting to unhook load

Injured person instructing crane operator to lower the boom

Crane suddenly lifted load striking the injured person in the chest

What went wrong?

  • The crane operator did not follow the instructions of the vessel lifting team;
  • The injured crew member was in the line of fire during lifting operations;
  • The vessel cargo plan not followed;
  • Neither the other crew members or the crane operator thought to stop the job and use their Stop Work Authority.

Actions/lessons learned

  • Immediate Stand Down for Safety and discuss the importance of crew members staying out of the line of fire during lifting operations;
  • Reiteration of importance of Stop Work Authority which should be implemented if:
    • Crew see incorrect procedures being used or people working in unsafe manner
    • Unsafe conditions are observed in the work area
    • Crew are seen standing in a dangerous position
  • Lifting operations should not be conducted unless clear communication channels are in place between crane operator and lifting team.

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