The Britannia P&I Club has shared Incident Case Study No.9 relating to how two crew members on a general cargo ship were injured when a suspended load fell and struck them.
The incident occurred during the movement of the ship’s hatch covers. The suspended load was lifting gear – two slinging sets; each set weighing 0.6t and consisting of two 17m long, 52-millimetre (mm) diameter, wire rope legs joined together with a master link. Each wire leg had a shackle attached to an eye at the lower end. The gear was to be used to move the ship’s hatch covers.
During the lifting operation, a shackle at the lower end of the load became snagged. The supervising officer immediately instructed the crane driver to stop, but at the same time the fibre sling parted and the lifting gear fell to the deck, striking the A/Bs who were close below. One of the A/Bs suffered a severe head injury while the other suffered a minor hand injury. Both A/Bs were transferred to hospital.
What went wrong?
The ship’s Safety Management System (SMS) did not contain a specific risk assessment or a procedure for the stowage and handling of the lifting gear, nor any guidance for the conduct of a lifting plan and the identification of fall zones.
As there was no procedure to follow, the crew had adopted their own method of carrying out the lifting operation. The crew had used the same method on at least five previous occasions and had experienced similar snagging events. When these had occurred, the deck crew had manually freed the gear after the crane had stopped hauling.
On this occasion we focus on “snag”. Members may wish to refer to:
- MSF: Cargo Snagging
- Line of fire: deck tugger wire failure
- Crane hydraulic hose caught on protruding grease fitting
- Near miss: winch wire snagged and released suddenly
- Basket snagged on ship’s structure
- Snagged lift during deck cargo operations
- Near miss: diver’s umbilical snagged by work basket during recovery to surface
- Near-miss: Snagged lifting bridle
- Lifting bridle snagged – Failure to “stop the job”
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