A FIBC (Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container) containing 36 sand bags weighing approx. 25kg each was being lifted from the quayside to the vessel. As the load was lifted to approximately 1 metre, there was a routine inspection of the load to check the handle loops and that the base of the bag was OK before lifting. The FIBC was raised to 3–5 metres when a distinctive tearing / ripping sound was heard, it was then the FIBC handle and stitching tore and the 900kg of sand bags fell onto the quayside. There were no injuries.
What actions were taken?
- Inspect prior to use ensuring they are:
- free from damage that can compromise its strength;
- free from any UV degradation (due to sunlight exposure);
- free from chemical damage;
- Lift following manufacturer and supplier’s instructions;
- Ensure the landing area is clear of sharp and protruding edges;
- Ensure the filled FIBC is stable and secure during transportation;
- Store in a suitable location protected from UV radiation and rain (long periods of storage);
- Pad out forklift forks when lifting through lift handles to eliminate sharp edges.
- Drag or push FIBCs;
- Stop/start suddenly when lifting (shock loading);
- Allow suspended load to swing uncontrollably;
- Lift by steel wires or similar devices which may present sharp edges or rough surfaces;
- Use an FIBC which has exceeded 2 years from the date of manufacture;
- Lift over personnel
Note: If there is any doubt over the integrity of the FIBC, replace the FIBC or use a metal transfer basket/half height.
Members may wish to refer to
- Lifting Operation Resulting In Dropped Objects From Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container
- “Are you prepared to work safely?” videos: Lifting equipment Lifting operations
- IMCA SEL 019 Guidelines for lifting operations
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.