201940a Small slip, now unfit

31 May 2019 MARS 2019

A crew member was transporting a large quantity of provisions from the refrigerator room to the galley. The weight meant he had to hold the tray with both hands. Condensation had made the metal cover of the refrigerator room door area slippery. As the crew member stepped on it, he slipped and fell. He put his right hand down to try to break the fall and severely injured his middle finger.

The next day, with his finger now swollen and sore, the crew member informed the Chief Officer about the incident. He was given first aid and assigned light duties. When he visited a shore clinic at the next port of call, his right middle finger was found to be fractured. He was classified as unfit for duty and repatriated for further treatment and recovery.

Lessons learned

  • The adage ‘one hand for the ship and one for yourself’ reminds us to work with care.
  • If you need to use two hands to carry something, ensure that the load is well within your physical limits. If necessary, make two trips instead of one.
  • Never carry a load with two hands if you have to negotiate stairs; you should keep one hand on the handrail.
  • Incidents and injuries should be reported immediately after they happen, however insignificant you may think they are at the time.
  • Floor areas where moisture.