(www.MaritimeCyprus.com) On 19 March 2022, the Bahamas registered hatch coverless container vessel, Dole Chile, was alongside, discharging containers at Santa Marta, Columbia. At around 03:30, with discharge continuing in close proximity, a deck fitter began hot work in bay 34, repairing a stopper from the lashing bridge.
With the repair almost completed the fitter was kneeling on a container in the cargo area to gain better access to the work area when he was struck by the container spreader attached to the vessel’s gantry crane. He did not survive his injuries.
Why it happened
The deck fitter was working alone and unsupported. His location had been relayed to the
person controlling the cargo operations but this information did not alter the cargo discharge plan.
The design of the vessel’s gantry crane meant that the operator’s view of the casualty location was obstructed. There was no hatchman present to mitigate this hazard. The officer overseeing the work, expected the repair to be completed from inside the lashing bridge’s rails but the task could not be completed in the manner imagined – the victim moved onto the adjacent container in order to complete the repair.
What can we learn
Personnel involved in any potentially hazardous operation should be consulted to identify the hazards associated with completion of the task. If you don’t understand the task, you cannot identify the hazards. If you haven’t identified the hazards you cannot assess the risk or implement effective controls.
Risk assessments are ineffective if risk control measures are not implemented. When conducting work in port, clear and effective communication between the ship and terminal is key.
For more information, click below to download the full investigation report: