Work in drydock is full of opportunities for unsafe acts – be on your guard and always ask questions. The Nautical Institute gives this advice in its latest Mars Report, in which hull painting had to be stopped as safety measures were not in order.

The Nautical Institute gathers reports of maritime accidents and near-misses. It then publishes these so-called Mars Reports (anonymously) to prevent other accidents from happening. A summary of this incident:

A vessel was in drydock undergoing hull painting. The painting area was accessed using the shipyard crane and a personnel basket. During this process, it was observed that the workers in the basket were not using safety harnesses. After further questioning, it transpired that neither the basket nor the fall arrest equipment had valid test certificates.

Uncertified basket.

The job was stopped and the shipyard was required to correct the situation. Relevant certified equipment was then provided.

In addition to the advice given above, The Nautical Institute also points to the fact that while in drydock, specific tasks may be subcontracted out by the shipyard. ‘This can then give rise to ambiguous health and safety oversight. If workers are undertaking tasks on your ship, you should have the final word on safety.’

Also read: Nautical Institute: Use fall prevention even if the height seems small

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202141, that are part of Report Number 346. A selection of this Report will also be published in SWZ|Maritime’s September 2021 issue. The Nautical Institute compiles these reports to help prevent maritime accidents. That is why they are also published on SWZ|Maritime’s website.

More reports are needed to keep the scheme interesting and informative. All reports are read only by the Mars coordinator and are treated in the strictest confidence. To submit a report, please use the Mars report form.

Picture (top): Working at height without a safety harness.