‘Crew should carry out on-site risk assessments to avoid unnecessary injury’

Accidents can happen at any time onboard a ship. After a crew member had his finger crushed trying to solve an unsafe situation on the spot, The Nautical Institute warns that even mundane tasks require a risk assessment.

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:

An engine room crew member was in the vessel’s workshop when he spotted an unsafe condition. One of the pipes stowed against the workshop bulkhead was protruding out sideways from the storage support.

He attempted to rearrange the misplaced pipe, but as he was doing so, another pipe stowed above slipped from the pile and crushed his index finger against the pipes below. Upon removing his gloves, the crew member found the fingernail had sheared off along with the skin from the index finger. He received first aid and was put on rest routine.

Advice from The Nautical Institute

  • It should be second nature for crew to carry out on-site risk assessments to avoid unnecessary injury while accomplishing tasks: the mundane as well as the extraordinary.
  • Seek assistance from fellow crew members for tasks involving lifting or shifting of heavy weights.

Also read: Improvisation while dismantling pipe results in crew member injury

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202110, that are part of Report Number 340. A selection of this Report has also been published in SWZ|Maritime’s March 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.

Also read: Crew member’s finger crushed when securing crane jib

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

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