202315 - Routine task ends with fall

22 Feb 2023 MARS

A vessel was at anchor near a port. As part of regular maintenance checks, a member of the engine room crew went into the funnel space to verify whether the funnel flaps were working.

In order to do this he installed a ladder in the relatively confined space and climbed up, unassisted. He slipped from the ladder and fell to the deck. He suffered multiple minor injuries for which he had to be evacuated to a shore hospital.

Lessons learned

  • Routine, everyday tasks can be deceptive; we tend to discount the potential harm of hazards we have successfully avoided in the past.
  • A rule of thumb when using a ladder: have a second person hold the base while you climb. It is generally accepted that if the height of your climb is greater than 2/2.5 metres, use a safety harness.