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Near-miss: Personnel almost caught between crane house and scaffold pipe

A member has reported an incident in which someone was almost caught between a crane housing and a scaffold pipe. The incident occurred when a non-destructive testing (NDT) inspector was conducting an inspection at the stern of the crane, outside on the roller level. The access was from the scaffold around the crane. The inspector was positioned at a beam, behind a vertical scaffold pole. He had just finished the inspection of the welds and stepped back from the crane housing onto the scaffold platform when the crane started slewing. A deck supervisor spotted the inspector on the scaffold platform and asked him what he was doing. Immediately the deck supervisor ordered the crane driver to stop the crane. Had the crane started to slew earlier, then he could have been caught between the crane housing and the scaffolding pipe.

Site of incident
Site of incident

The following direct causes to the incident were identified:

  • The crane operator was not informed at the start of the work;
  • There were inadequate guards or barriers;
  • Log out tag out procedures were not applied.

Subsequent to further investigation the following points were noted:

  • A ‘last minute risk assessment’ by the NDT inspector did not reveal the actual risks owing to his lack of experience, and he did not notice that in case of crane slewing the scaffolding would rotate independently from his work spot;
  • There was inadequate initial instruction, and information was not communicated properly to all the involved parties;
  • The toolbox talk process was not conducted in accordance with established procedures
  • the work process was discussed without involvement of all parties (deck crew/crane operator);
  • The wrong crane operator was informed before the operation took place
  • this was done during an accidental encounter in the accommodation.

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