Case Study: One Small Step For Crew Member Results In Injury

Two crew from the engine room department were on deck, tasked with preparing the manifold for bunkering. As they were laying out a canvas under the bunker manifold, one of the men stepped backwards and slipped from the manifold grating, which did not have a railing.

He fell back towards the deck about one metre below, and instinctively tried to catch himself on the grating. As he did so, his left-hand ring finger was trapped between the gratings, as shown in the simulation photos below. When his weight came on the trapped hand he sustained a cut.

The victim was immediately given first aid. Although minor, this injury could easily have been much worse, even requiring repatriation had the finger been broken.

Image Credits:

Lessons learned

  • As in last month’s MARS reports (201957 and 201958), mundane tasks that have always been done a certain way can nonetheless present risks that are invisible to the crew. How would you prevent this accident from happening?
  • It is critical to keep one’s situational awareness while performing any task.
  • Practising on-site (and on-going) risk assessments to identify all potential hazards at the work site is a key safety behaviour.
  • IMO has now defined ‘safety’ as ‘the absence of unacceptable levels of risk’. Is your ship safe?


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