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Near-miss: Pilot ladder failure

A member has reported an incident during an embarkation offshore, in which a rope on a pilot ladder snapped. The person boarding the vessel managed to hold onto the hand line which was rigged alongside the pilot ladder, thus preventing himself from falling overboard.

Our member’s investigation revealed the following:

  • The pilot ladder had been checked as part of the monthly safety checks and had been recorded as ‘Out of Order’ – but had not been removed from use and quarantined; . A requisition had been raised for a replacement pilot ladder, but the new ladder was still awaiting delivery; . No crew member exercised the STOP WORK POLICY, despite being aware of the ladder being damaged; . The following safety barriers were observed to have failed: . Operational procedures -existing guidance was not sufficient to deal with this case . Maintenance procedures; . Our member took the following actions: . The pilot ladder was immediately quarantined . All other vessels were instructed to inspect their pilot ladders for serviceability . Changed company procedures on the quarantine of (faulty or damaged) tools and equipment.

Any tools or equipment found to be faulty, damaged or defective should be taken out of use and tagged/quarantined. This near miss incident need not have happened had someone on the crew taken the initiative to stop the job. Our member’s STOP WORK POLICY should have been exercised, either during the monthly safety checks of the ladder or before the personnel transfer.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents, some of which are identical in that the immediate cause is the parting of a pilot ladder rope (search words: pilot):

Safety Event

Published: 5 February 2016
Download: IMCA SF 04/16

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