770 - 06/11 - Recent Human Errors - Worldwide


The Club has been made aware of an increasing number of human errors resulting in injury that have been made public. A case highlighting this problem was brought to the Club's attention and involved a senior crew member falling in a cargo hold and sustaining severe injuries from which he later died in hospital.

Other cases brought to our attention involve falls in the engine room, collisions due to distractions on the Bridge and accidents during mooring operations. This latter case is of particular concern considering the Club's recent publication of Risk Focus: Mooring the aim of which is to highlight such dangers and claim areas. In the past two years alone the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has investigated two deaths and nine injuries related to mooring line handling.

All of these cases were avoidable. Through the proper adoption of and full compliance with the vessel’s Safety Management System (SMS) these accidents could have been avoided. The SMS should be a core feature of a vessel’s efforts to instil and enhance the safety culture on board.

Points raised from recent incidents include:

  • Distractions of watchkeepers from mobile phones
  • Inadequate lighting of deck working areas
  • Lack of signs depicting removed walkways
  • Complacency in shipboard operations

Members should be reminded that effective safety management is an effective combination of ‘soft’ management based safety features (safety meetings, safety policies etc…) and ‘hard’ physical based preventative measures (safety signs, safety barriers, safety posters…)

The Club has numerous loss prevention articles, posters and publications which address these areas of concern. For more information or to request any of our publications please contact the Loss Prevention department.

Source of Information:

Loss Prevention Dept

UK P&I Club




Staff Author