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Near-miss: Person almost fell from height during anchor chain preparations

The Marine Safety Forum (MSF) has published the following safety alert regarding a near miss during preparation to load anchor chain into a moon pool chain locker. One person almost fell into the chain locker. The hatch cover had been temporarily removed before the installation of the chain guide. The hatch had an opening of 155cm x 85cm. The depth of the locker was approximately 10m and there was 1-1.5m of water at the bottom.

The person fell backwards, with the upper part of his body towards the opening of the hatch. He managed to turn slightly over to his right side and grab onto the edge around the hatch opening with both hands. His ankles and the lower part of his feet were also above the edge of the hatch opening. He managed to get his right elbow over the edge. He shouted for help twice before getting the attention of his colleagues.

The MSF notes that the near miss occurred because:

  • The hatch had been left open without a barrier;
  • The fact that the hatch had been opened was not sufficiently communicated;
  • Risk assessment and planning for the work, given the risks involved, was neither suitable nor sufficient.

A similar hatch
A similar hatch

Reconstruction of area of near miss
Reconstruction of area of near miss

The MSF safety alert can be found at

Safety Event

Published: 12 October 2016
Download: IMCA SF 27/16

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