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Cargo ship loaded with containers close to coast

Member Alert

MSS Case October: Fall into the cargo hold during cargo operation


The container vessel was alongside and cargo operations had begun. It was an early morning in  winter and there were patches of ice on the deck and on the cargo hatch covers. The starboard  outboard cargo hatch cover for hold 5 had been removed and placed on the quay. A couple  of containers were then loaded into the cargo hold. After this a number of other holds were to be loaded before coming back to hold 5 and so the hold was left partially open.

A few hours after loading had started, a terminal supervisor came on board the vessel and  reported that crew members had walked on a partly open cargo hatch while a container was hanging above. The OOW said he would discuss this with the crew at the next safety meeting.

At 06.00 there was a change of watch. Two AB’s monitored the cargo operation and the OOW was in the ship’s office. At around 07.00 AB1 informed the OOW that cargo operation had begun in hold 4 and advised that he wanted to examine cargo hold 5 to see that everything was in order and that there was no cargo damage. Between each cargo hold there was a protected walkway and to access the cargo hatch cover it was necessary to climb up a short ladder from the main deck. The guardrails on either side of the walkway were fitted with safety barriers, which could be lifted to gain access.

Read more about this case in the latest Monthly Safety Scenario

For more Loss Prevention information, please contact: 
Joakim Enström, 
Loss Prevention Officer

Each month the Club’s Loss Prevention team issues a new safety scenario to assist members in their efforts to comply with international safety regulations and follow best practices.