The Nautical Institute’s latest Mars Report points to the importance of monthly Planned Maintenance System inspections. In the report, an accident could have been prevented if this maintenance had been carried out properly.

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:

While disconnecting the cargo hose on a tanker with the ship’s crane, a member of the shore personnel working on deck suffered a minor injury from a small piece of wood that fell from height.

The wooden piece was sheathing placed around the boom’s “parking crutch” to avoid metal-to-metal contact. Over time, the securing arrangement for the sheathing had come loose, and when the boom was lifted, it slipped from position and fell, striking the shore crew. The victim was given first aid and was in good medical condition thereafter.

The company investigation found, among other things, that the monthly maintenance of the crane was not carried out as per the Planned Maintenance System (PMS). Visual inspection of the sheathing would likely have identified the wear and probably avoided the accident.

Also read: Accommodation ladder pin failure accident shows need for maintenance guidelines

Advice from The Nautical Institute

  • Monthly PMS inspections are established for a reason and should be carried out with due diligence and “fresh eyes” at each repetition.
  • In this instance, no specific PMS task was assigned to checking the condition of the wood sheathing. When new hazards are discovered, risks can be reduced by creating a specific PMS task for the object of the hazard.

Also read: ‘Vessel crew needs to be extra prudent after dry dock maintenance’

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202330, that are part of Report Number 369. A selection of the Mars Reports are also in the SWZ|Maritime magazine. The Nautical Institute compiles these reports to help prevent maritime accidents. That is why they are also published (in full) 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.

Also read: Poor maintenance and ‘commercial pressure’ caused Finlandia Seaways engine room fire