Transport Malta investigation: Serious injury onboard while lashing containers
Transport Malta's MSIU issued an investigation report on a serious injury of a crew member while lashing containers on the deck of the general cargo ship MV Boston Trader, in the port of Oran, Algeria, on 14 March 2019.
MV Boston Trader was moored at Dar Es Salem Terminal, in the port of Oran, Algeria.
During the morning of 14 March 2019, the third officer received a call over the portable radio that one able seafarer had an accident while securing containers on the cross deck between Bay 06 and Bay 12.
On reaching the location, the third officer found the able seafarer standing with the sock and safety shoe of his right foot taken off and bleeding from the toe.
He immediately informed the master and the chief officer, and helped the injured seafarer down to the deck.
A few minutes later, a medical team arrived on board and took the injured seafarer to a hospital.
The lower end of a long lashing bar had fallen onto the seafarer’s right foot, cutting through his safety footwear.
One toe on the seafarer’s right foot was severely injured and had to be amputated.
Following investigation, the MSIU drew up the following conclusions:
The injured seafarer was the only crew member tasked with the securing of containers;
Crew members believed that one person was sufficient for this task;
The long lashing bar slipped out of the socket after it was suspended vertically from the corner fitting;
The injured seafarer may have either worn his safety footwear improperly, or his foot slipped out at the time of the accident;
The risks associated with the task might not have been adequately assessed, as some of the control measures were not in place, at the time of the accident.
During the course of the safety investigation, the Company reviewed and revised the securing of containers’ risk assessment form. Through this revision, the Company:
recommended that two persons are employed when handling long lashing bars;
reviewed and amended the SMS Manual to revise the guidance on safe lashing;
introduced a formal system of briefing and familiarization for safe lashing;
issued a 'Safe Lashing & Unlashing Checklist';
sent guidance to all managed vessels to remind masters of the importance of timely and accurate reporting in the case of crew injuries and in the approved company format to ensure that the required information is received by those that most need it;
reminded masters to preserve evidence and to get accurate and readable medical reports from shore medical providers and to check flag State requirements;
sent all lessons learned and guidance to all managed vessels.