Ship in port general

Crew member’s finger crushed when securing crane jib

Crane operations are inherently risky. A recent Mars Report shows just how easy it is to lose situational awareness during such an operation, which led to a crushed finger.

The incident was covered in a recent Mars Report. These reports are compiled (anonymously) by The Nautical Institute to prevent other accidents from happening. A summary of this incident:

Two crew were tasked to secure the hose handling crane jib in its cradle support. One crew operated the crane while the other signalled.

As the crane jib was lowered, the signaller attempted to manually align the wooden block over the jib cradle support. He held the block and signalled to the operator to lower the jib. He did not notice that his own finger was positioned under the block. When the jib was lowered into position, his fingertip was crushed between the crane jib and the wooden block. Immediate first aid was given and once in port he visited a shore doctor for further treatment.

Advice from The Nautical Institute

  • Excellent communications and situational awareness are essential for everyone involved in crane operations.
  • Crane operations need a dedicated crane operator and a dedicated signaller. If other manoeuvres are needed, a third person should be employed.

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202026, that are part of Report Number 331. A selection of this Report has also been published in SWZ|Maritime’s June 2020 issue. The Nautical Institute compiles these reports to help prevent maritime accidents. That is why they are also published on SWZ|Maritime’s website.

More reports are needed to keep the scheme interesting and informative. All reports are read only by the Mars coordinator and are treated in the strictest confidence. To submit a report, please use the Mars report form.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

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