The London P&I Club says its inspectors continue to note negative findings in and around ship mooring stations. The most common findings are a lack of anti-skid deck paint in key areas, a lack of hazard marking of protruding objects and platforms, and low awareness of the dangers of snap-back zones.
The club recommends that ships’ officers conduct a risk assessment of their mooring stations to establish the best location for anti-skid areas, and the use of a prescribed additive to the deck paint, which can usually be found in the ship’s coating technical file. Good surface preparation is essential to a long life, says the club, as it is believed that 70 per cent of premature coating breakdown on ships is attributable to poor surface preparation.
The club emphasises that hazard markings make trip hazards more visible, and says officers should also not overlook dangers at head height when conducting a risk assessment of a mooring station.
Poor awareness of snap-back zones, meanwhile, continues to feature as a regular negative finding on club inspections. Inspectors appointed by the club are required to determine as part of an inspection questionnaire the awareness of ships’ crews who are involved in mooring operations. The intention is for the inspectors to speak directly to crews when making their assessment.
London Club Loss Prevention Manager Carl Durow says, “The club is always pleased to note occasions where the Best Practices section of the questionnaire records that ships’ crews are engaged in ‘toolbox’ meetings prior to operations, and crew are encouraged to consider each individual mooring operation – and specifically the planned mooring arrangement – in good time.
“Also, the latest (2015) edition of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seaman makes clear reference to a particular industry-wide confusion over the area of snap-back zones being marked on the deck. It states, ‘The painting of snap-back zones on mooring decks should be avoided because they may give a false sense of security’.”