202105 The handrial's tale

05 Jan 2021 MARS 2021

As edited from Woodside HSEQ Event Alert WELEV19040105

Two pilots had taken an LNG vessel outbound from a port and were now disembarking using the port side combination ladder (accommodation ladder + vertical pilot ladder). The first pilot safely disembarked the vessel on to the pilot boat without incident.
As the second pilot was descending on the lower section of the accommodation ladder, at approximately 10 metres above sea level, the handrail released from its securing point and collapsed to knee height.
The pilot was able to recover and was uninjured. The ensuing investigation found that a securing pin intended to hold a portion of the multi-sectional accommodation ladder handrail system in the upright position had not been correctly installed.

Lesson Learned

  • Handrails are an essential safety element of an accommodation ladder and should be given the utmost attention when installing.
  • Embarking and disembarking at sea is an activity that comprises many risks with potential grave consequences. Give tasks related to these activities your best attention.