In The Nautical Institute’s latest Mars Report, a commonplace task was not properly analysed for unsafe conditions. As a result, a crew member fell and suffered an injury.

A tanker was in port, and two engine crew were to tidy up the steering gear compartment. Some empty wooden boxes were to be taken out.

They were currently stored on top of various 45 gallon drums. The crew members climbed on top of the drums and were collaborating on lifting the boxes out when one crew member slipped and fell. He landed safely on top of the drums, but his left leg remained stuck in between the drums.

With assistance, the victim was transferred to ship’s hospital for evaluation of his condition and provision of first aid. He soon returned to the vessel and continued the recommended treatment onboard with light duties.

Also read: Risks for falling overboard can be hidden in plain sight

Advice from The Nautical Institute

  • Some unsafe conditions are in plain sight, but become invisible because they are so familiar to us. In this case, a commonplace task was not properly analysed for unsafe conditions.
  • A deck full of holes is clearly unsafe; if you would not walk on a deckfull of holes; why would you walk on a surface made of barrels that is full of holes?

Also read: Finger crushed in windlass results in re-engineered pin that reduces risk

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202353, that are part of Report Number 373. A selection of the Mars Reports are also published 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: Nautical Institute: Use fall prevention even if the height seems small