CHIRP Report: Entrapment in running equipment causes serious personal injury
Better coordination and communication would have reduced the risk of entrapment and injury…
The following case study is from Superyacht Feedback, from CHIRP Maritime, the first superyacht-specific programme and publication dedicated to improving safety in the maritime industry through vital knowledge sharing, anonymous reporting, analysis and feedback via the Superyacht Maritime Advisory Board.
A selection of case studies and a feature covering this new programme appears in The Superyacht Operations Report.
Entrapment in running equipment causes serious personal injury
“On the dock, pulling on the running backstay requires someone pulling the block forward to keep lines off the teak deck. The supervising officer operated the winch at high speed, and the crew member on the block got their hand caught in it. As the block lifted, it hoisted the crew member roughly 5m high. It suddenly stopped, catapulting the crew back to the deck, missing the mainsheet track by 10cm. The casualty suffered a broken wrist, required stitches to the lip and chin, and was knocked unconscious for 5 minutes. The crew member had to pay for their flights home and was off work for a month.”
There needed to be better coordination between the supervising officer and the person working the block. Clear verbal warnings that the hoist was about to start would have alerted the crew member to keep their hands clear. The use of closed-loop communications in such circumstances should be considered, e.g. the crew person responding “Clear!” to the officer’s alert of “Operating winch!” or similar.
Large superyachts are fitted with powerful equipment items, and understanding their power must be part of the familiarisation process for all crew. CHIRP also asks whether the crew person was even needed. If the concern was that the block might scratch the teak deck, wouldn’t a canvas cover or other covering have sufficed?
Use the hierarchy of controls diagram-eliminate the hazard.
Toolbox talks are not standard in the super yacht sector of this industry, but CHIRP recommends adopting them, including Stop Work authority.
CHIRP feels the owners have a duty of care to look after and support the injured crew until they fully recover.
Key Issues relating to this report
Communications: Use closed-loop communications for safety-critical evolutions such as lifting.
Teamwork: Better coordination between the winchman and the block handler would have reduced the risk of entrapment.
Local practices: Where possible, reduce entrapment risks by looking for alternative methods to achieve the aim. A floor covering would have been a safer option.
Culture: The report that the casualty had to pay to repatriate themselves suggests poor personnel and welfare standards on board, which is also an indicator of a poor safety culture.
CHIRP Maritime, a UK-registered charity, has launched Superyacht Feedback, the first superyacht-specific programme and publication to improve safety in the maritime industry through confidential reporting and safety analysis onboard. To register, or submit your feedback, please click here.
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