Two crew were stood under a 3m depth skid of a cable installation plough calibrating it when part of the rigging holding the plough parted causing it to fall on them, injuring them both.
The plough depth skid, weighing around 320kg, was lifted at one end by the vessel crane; a fixed pad eye at the end of the skid was attached by a hook, sling and chain block. Suddenly the hook parted, and the depth skid fell down, knocking over both crewmen. Both landed badly; one of them sprained his leg; the other suffered a fractured wrist. Both were sent ashore by guard boat for medical treatment. Subsequent medical check showed that one of them suffered fractures of the left wrist and radial head (below the elbow).
What went wrong?
- It was shown afterwards that because the pad eye on the plough depth skid was too small for a standard hook, the crew used an entirely inappropriate spring snap hook to link the skid and the sling;
- The two crew were in the wrong place – under the load, in the line of fire.
- Actions taken
- Further crew training on correct lifting loose gear application, emphasizing that unqualified loose gear should not be used for any lifting work;
- The pad eye was modified and tested so that a standard and properly qualified hook can be used;
- Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment form for plough operation was reviewed and revised:
- To include safe positioning of crew and,
- To enhance supervision by requiring the team leader to check safety positioning.
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