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Near-miss: Dropped objects during lifting operations

A member has reported an incident in which pieces of angle bar slipped out of slings and fell into the sea. The incident occurred when the crew of a platform supply vessel used slings instead of a cargo basket, as the means to hoist a cargo of angle bar up to a rig.

A number of factors made this incident of particular concern to our member:

  • No cargo baskets were available for this job – use of an approved cargo basket would have prevented this incident;
  • The slings used were provided by a 3rd party contractor and were of uneven lengths, which caused the load to hang at an angle, and the bars to fall into the sea;
  • No proper near miss report was made at the time of the incident:
    • The crane operator assumed that the incident would be reported by someone else and thus did not report the dropped object himself.
    • No report was made until 10 days after the incident. Our member noted the following:
  • Where possible, cargo baskets should be used for pipes, metal bars and other objects that can easily fall out of slings;
  • Crew should be reminded that when using slings or other lifting gear, care should be taken to select the appropriate equipment for the job at hand;
  • All incidents and near misses should be reported, no matter if one believes that someone else has reported it, or how trivial the matter may seem.

Members should refer to the following IMCA documents, in particular the pocket safety cards which are intended for use by vessel crews:

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.