Real Life Incident: Dangers of Dropped Objects

A support vessel was carrying out operations. Due to the heading in relation to the prevailing seas and swell the ship was reported to be ‘slamming’. This movement caused a piece of timber approximately 300mm x 100mm to fall 15 metres from the crane jib support to the deck below. The piece of timber was not a loose item that had been displaced, but was in fact a section of the jib stowage arrangement which had apparently split and come loose from its support.

Subsequently, the vessel crew completed a full and thorough HSE inspection of all deck areas to check for other weak points and also to ensure there were no remaining loose/unsecured items which could fall onto decks or spaces below. All personnel on board were reminded to remain vigilant for the possibility of falling objects.


Lessons learned

  • Estimating the wood weighs 3 to 4 kg, the Dropped Object Calculator below shows that the consequences of it hitting someone from 15 metres could be potentially fatal.
  • Every crewman should be made aware of the potentially fatal or debilitating effects of dropped objects. The Dropped Object Calculator is a valuable tool for training and awareness.


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