627 - 3/09 - Poor Lighting - Worldwide


Following a recent incident onboard a vessel where a member of the crew fell into an open hatch, the Association believes it is important to highlight the dangers associated with poor lighting. 

Whilst two vessels lay berthed alongside one another, a crew member from the most seaward of the two wished to lay a hose to the quayside to load fresh water. In doing so he had to bypass the vessel that lay between his own vessel and the dock, whilst crossing over he entered an area with very poor lighting and consequently fell into an open hatch.

Some of the major risks associated with poor lighting are slips, trips and falls but it should be remembered that the likelihood of any accident occurring will be greatly increased if adequate lighting is not provided. Whether it is working in an area that is not correctly lit or passing through an area with no lighting at all, the seriousness of the matter cannot be ignored.

Particular care should be taken to provide suitable lighting for all access ways, deck openings, gangways and emergency escapes. If temporary lighting is in use it should be thoroughly checked and rigged in a safe manner, all cables should be secured to prevent further risk.

A good source of information on this matter is Chapter 13, section 4 of the Maritime and Coastguards (MCA), Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seaman.


Staff Author