Real Life Incident: Crew Member Severely Injures Three Fingers

The deck crew were bringing mooring lines up on deck in preparation for port arrival. The operation included transferring a mooring line from the starboard locker storage spool to the aft deck winch. In order to expedite the work, a crew member held a crowbar in place to act as an improvised fairlead. This was intended to deviate the line around a pillar while the line was tugged directly from the storage spool to the deck winch under power.

During this operation the crowbar slipped; the deck crew member holding the crowbar caught his fingers between the bar and roller. Severe injuries to three of his fingers resulted.



Lessons learned

  • Improvised work methods are rarely safe.
  • There should never be undue haste when undertaking a task. This leads to unsafe practices which can cause negative consequences.
  • Normal operating procedure in this instance was to first remove the mooring line from the storage spool and then bring it onto the winch without having to angle around the pillar. This procedure was not written down, nor was it communicated to the new crew member undertaking the job.


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