MARS 185 - March 2008


MARS 200815

Careless hull painting

Glaring violations of safe working practices (not in any order):

1. Apparently unsupervised lone crew member at work.

2. No flotation aid, lifeline or eye protection in use.

3. Two separate ladder sections, and pilot ladder (the lower section) being used in an unauthorized manner and also inclined dangerously.

4. Discarded wharf fender with suspect stability and no safety railings or manropes being used as a punt.

5. Highly inappropriate and unsafe use of messroom chair.

6. Unsecured paint container can topple and cause pollution.

MARS 200816

Fatal fall from hatch cover

Official Report Source: IMO Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation – eleventh session

While closing the hatch covers on a small bulk carrier after hold cleaning, an officer climbed on to a partially-closed hatch cover to unshackle and move the wire leading from the winch. He slipped, fell into the hold and was killed.

Root cause/contributory factors:

  1. In the absence of written procedures, the ship’s crew was using an incorrect and dangerous procedure for closing the hatches;
  2. The decks and hatch covers were wet, oily and slippery and the officer placed himself in a dangerous position by climbing on to, and working at the very edge of, the partiallyopened hatch cover;
  3. The officer was not wearing a safety harness or a helmet. 

Lessons learnt:

  1. Vessels must have written procedures (as required by the ISM Code) for safely carrying out routine procedures and ships’ crews must be familiar with these procedures and follow them.
  2. Seafarers should not take risks that place them, even briefly, in a dangerous position.
  3. Seafarers should always wear safety equipment where appropriate, and be alert for any hazards caused by the presence of oil, grease or water on deck.


Staff Author