Mars 201922

Ship’s Crew Member Hit by Falling Object

When a ship's crew was lifting a bucket of grease meant to grease the crane hoist wire, the heaving line parted causing the bucket to fall and hit the head of one of the crew members. 

Crew members were assigned to grease the crane hoist wire. Two crew went up the crane post to make the necessary preparations while another made fast the 5-litre grease bucket to a heaving line. When ready, the bucket was heaved up manually by one of the crew aloft. While raising the bucket, the heaving line parted and the grease bucket fell, hitting the crew member’s head on its way down. 

Luckily, the victim was wearing a safety helmet, but he nonetheless suffered severe neck and head pain and was later signed off for further medical attention ashore.

Lessons Learned

  • Never place yourself under a lift, no matter how small. Small objects falling from height can still be dangerous. (See MARS 201835 for an interesting chart of weight dropped/height versus consequences.)
  • Using heaving lines to lift small loads may be a common practice, but it is not entirely appropriate. A dedicated ‘light-load’ line with a known SWL and in good condition should be used in order to reduce risks, as in this accident.

Mars Reports

This is one of the March Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 201922, that are part of Report Number 317. A selection of this Report has also been published in SWZ|Maritime’s April issue.


Through the kind intermediary of The Nautical Institute we gratefully acknowledge sponsorship provided by:
American Bureau of Shipping, AR Brink & Associates, Britannia P&I Club, Cargill, Class NK, DNV, Gard, IHS Fairplay Safety at Sea International, International Institute of Marine Surveying, Lairdside Maritime Centre, London Offshore Consultants, MOL Tankship Management (Europe) Ltd, Noble Denton, North of England P&I Club, Sail Training International, Shipowners Club, The Marine Society and Sea Cadets, The Swedish Club, UK Hydrographic Office, West of England P&I Club

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Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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