Real Life Incident: Crew Member’s Finger Crushed In Windlass

A vessel was proceeding to anchor and some deck crew was forward at the windlass. One of the deck crew was removing the gear lever pin while another crew operated the hydraulic lever.

Unfortunately, the victim’s fingers were not clear of the lever pin as he withdrew it, and a finger got trapped in the space between the gear and frame, requiring first aid.

The company subsequently re-engineered the pin with a simple eye on top, enabling the pin to be removed from the top of the lever without the operator putting their fingers between the lever and frame. This improvement was applied to all similarly equipped ships in the fleet.

Real life accident

Lessons learned

  • Hazards in plain sight once again – and a simple solution to reduce risks was seen only after the incident. Why not take a walk around your ship with ‘new eyes’ and see if you can spot some hazards in plain view?
  • Good communication and job hazard awareness are needed while operating machinery, whether alone or as a team.

MARS Report

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