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Warning signs not respected

A member has reported that an electrician was on the deck of a semi-submersible crane vessel and was going to the lower part of the J-lay tower (clamp area) in order to install lighting necessary for the night time working activities.

To gain access to the tower he used a scaffold which had been an alternative route to it and which was directly connecting the vessel bow to that level just above the clamp area.

However, due to operational requirements, the scaffold had been disconnected from the tower and pulled toward the deck of the vessel. To indicate the hazard a white rope had been put close to the entrance, as well as a red tag that forbade the use of the scaffold.

Since the scaffold was not secured, it overturned under the weight of the electrician causing him to fall 13.8 m down, hitting the handrail of the narrow walkway located between the vessel and the clamp area. The electrician suffered fractures of his right arm and right leg. In addition, some of the pieces of the collapsed scaffold caused minor injuries to a scaffolder who was working in the clamp area.

Cause of the accident:

Despite all tool box talks held on board and the safety signs installed on the scaffold, the injured person by-passed the prohibition signals placed on the scaffold, risking his own safety and the safety of other employees.

Company’s corrective action:

  • Tool box talks with all personnel about the safe use of the scaffolds and respect of the warning signs.
  • Ensure installation of more evident safety signs.
  • Dismantle scaffolds immediately as soon as they become unnecessary.

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