Tanker

Misapplication of force leads to crew member facial injury

‘Proper training would include the execution of the task while under supervision.’ The Nautical Institute gives this advice after a crew member on board a tanker suffered a facial injury due to not executing a task in the proper way.

The Nautical Institute gathers reports of maritime accidents and near-misses. It then publishes these so-called Mars Reports (anonymously) to prevent other accidents from happening. A summary of this incident:

A berthed tanker was discharging cargo and a deck crew member was assigned valve operation duties at the manifold. While applying force using an ‘f-spanner’ on one of the valves he slipped. His face hit the valve spindle with some considerable force causing an injury to his upper lip.

The company investigation found that, among other things, he had not assumed the proper position for the task. This was linked to his lack of experience and inadequate training for this particular job.

Advice from The Nautical Institute

In addition to the advice above, The Nautical Institute stresses that:

  • When investigating for cause, always go deeper than the unsafe act. In this case, the unsafe act of not being properly positioned was linked to the unsafe condition of inadequate training.
  • All hazards related to a particular task should be explained to new crew.

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202102, that are part of Report Number 339. A selection of this Report has also been published in SWZ|Maritime’s February 2021 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.