201973 Stairs slip-up injures crewman

21 Oct 2019 MARS 2019

Some deck crew were engaged in casting off a bunker barge. As they were letting go the lines on the upper deck, they heard a noise at the port side break of the accommodation. On going there, they found an injured crew member lying on the deck.

Apparently, he had been descending the steep steps rather hurriedly, facing forward and possibly not holding the handrail. Additionally, he had not noticed the stairs were wet due to a slight drizzle. All of these factors allowed him to slip and then slide down the stairs, injuring the back of his head, shoulder and ankle. The victim was given first aid and taken to hospital.

Lessons learned

  • The best way to descend steep stairs is facing the stairs with at least one hand on the railing.
  • Rushing down stairs is not necessarily the fastest way down.
  • Anti-slip strips on stair edges can help prevent slips, especially in wet conditions