565 - 2/08 - Fatal Fall in a Cargo Hold - Worldwide

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has found that a seaman may have been fatigued when he fell from a bulk carrier’s cargo hold ladder at the end of a working day.

The ATSB marine safety investigation also found that he may have been distracted by the equipment he was carrying and as a result of a mixture of perspiration and hydrochloric acid that would have caused irritation to his skin and eyes.

The incident occurred at the end of the working day as the seamen was exiting the hold. He had been in the hold spraying dirty areas with hydrochloric acid in preparation for the next cargo.

The ATSB investigation found that the ship's safety management system was not effective in ensuring that the crew carried out a risk analysis, for the task of cleaning the cargo holds with hydrochloric acid. It also found that the crew were not aware of the safety information provided by material safety data sheets.

The ATSB has issued the following two safety advisory notices with the aim of preventing similar incidents from occurring in the future.

MS20080001

The ship's safety management system was not effective in ensuring that the crew carried out a formal risk analysis for the hazardous task of preparing the cargo holds with hydrochloric acid.

The ATSB advises that ship managers should consider the safety implications of this safety issue and to take action where it is considered appropriate.

MS20080002

The ship's crew were not aware of the safety information provided by material safety data sheets. The ATSB advises that the ship managers should consider the safety implications of this safety issue and to take action where it is considered appropriate.

The full text of the investigation report can be found on the ATSB website at the following address.

http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2007/MAIR/mair244.aspx

Source of information:

Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)

Tel: (02) 6274 6141Email: atsbinfo@atsb.gov.au Internet: www.atsb.gov.au

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MUTUAL

Date08/02/2008

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