Real Life Accident: Crew Member Dies After Falling From Portable Ladder

While berthed and after discharging cargo, crew were instructed to clean the hold. As one rating climbed a portable ladder another rating steadied it. The rating climbing the ladder wore a safety helmet and a safety harness, but on the way up he was not attached to anything.

He was headed up to the ring attachment to secure his harness. Once at the level of the ring, he attempted to fasten the lifeline, which was about one metre to his right. As he extended himself to attach the lifeline he lost his balance and fell to the tank top three metres below.

Within 30 minutes an ambulance had arrived and taken the victim to hospital. Unfortunately, eight days later the victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

fall
Image Credits: nautinst.org

The investigation found the following:

  • There was no evidence of fatigue in this accident.
  • The distance from the right handhold of the ladder to the centre of the metal ring was about one metre. The average hand reach of males of the victim’s nationality is about 0.6 metre. Therefore, it was a risk for the rating to fasten his lifeline under this condition. The risk could have been reduced if the ladder was placed closer to the metal ring.
  •  The main contributing factor of the accident was the work attitude and safety consciousness of the victim. He should have stopped the operation and climbed down the ladder. The operation should only have resumed after the ladder had been properly aligned closer to the safety ring.

Reference: nautinst.org

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