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LTI: person fell down hatch inside crane pedestal

What happened

Two service engineers where performing an inspection inside a offshore crane pedestal.  Inside, there was a ladder running the full height of the crane pedestal, with a hatch on the middle level of the pedestal.  The first person went down the ladder, and unintentionally shifted the hatch cover into such a position, that when the second person went down the ladder and stepped onto the hatch cover that had shifted, it caused the hatch cover to tip over and fall to the room below. As a result the second service engineer fell through the hatch.

The engineer hurt his foot and back and had to rest for some weeks, although nothing was broken – only bruising. 

What went wrong

  • The hatch cover shifted slightly out of position;
  • There was a lack of awareness when entering crane pedestal.

What was the cause?

  • Poor hatch cover design – cover not secured. It ought to not have been possible to leave the loose hatch in such a position.


  • Test and check – in this case the cover plate was never fully tested to ensure sure it was safe for unintentional shifting when persons might step on the edges;
  • Look for similar hatches – ensure all hatch covers are properly designed and secure to prevent unintentional opening or shifting.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 10 January 2022
Download: IMCA SF 01/22

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