415 - 05/05 - Fatal Fall in Engine Room


A death occurred on a Member vessel in a recent incident where a deck grating had been removed and no barriers or notices put in place. It is thought these measures were not taken because it was to be a 'quick job' and the grating would not be out of place for long.

This case highlights that, no matter the time period an opening is left unattended, correct procedures must be followed for the sake of safety for everyone onboard.

The grating of an opening on the 3rd deck level in the engine room of the entered vessel was removed so that a ladder could be passed through it. Unfortunately a young crew member was unaware of the unguarded opening in the deck and fell through it and later died due to his injuries. The image (right) indicates the height of the fall.

The Merchant Shipping (Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen) Regulations 1998 deals with areas of concern including the guarding of openings and safety signs.

The Code states that where a normal transit area becomes unsafe to use for any reason, that area should be closed until it can be made safe again.

Source of information: UK P&I Club



Staff Author