A member has reported an incident in which a crewman fell from a fixed ladder injuring himself. The incident occurred when, after familiarising the shore-side crane operator, an Able Seaman (AB) was descending the crane ladder. His right foot slipped on the second rung of the ladder from bottom. He lost his hand grip on the ladder and fell down backward from a height of half a meter, with his buttocks touching the floor first resulting in lower back pain. He was referred to hospital for further examination of the injury and was declared unfit for duties for seven days.
Our member’s investigation noted the following:
- The ladder steps were free from oil/grease and clean;
- Correct and clean personal protective equipment (PPE) was being worn:
- the injured person’s safety shoes were in good condition with no traces of oil/grease on the soles
- the cotton gloves he was wearing were also free of any oil/grease;
- The injured person was not firmly holding onto the ladder with his hands while descending the ladder;
- He was sufficiently rested before the incident;
- The immediate cause was carelessness – right foot slipping off from crane ladder rung, a loose hand grip on the ladder while descending;
- A causal factor was improper motivation – lack of focus towards the task in hand;
- The root cause was that the risk was seen as tolerable – this was a ‘routine’ and recurring task.
The following preventative actions were identified:
- All crew to be reminded to be more safety conscious especially while going down ladders – ensure footing is secure and that there is no rush or hurry when on ladders;
- Care to be taken to ensure safety shoes and gloves are free from oil/grease stains;
- Care to be taken when conducting ‘routine’ work, especially by less experienced crew.
Members may wish to refer to the following incidents:
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.
IMCA’s store terms and conditions (https://www.imca-int.com/legal-notices/terms/) apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.
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.