Safety Alert: Entrapment by hatch cranes
30 June 2018 a fatal hatch crane entrapment occurred on board the Beauforce, the second fatal entrapment on that ship in three years. The Dutch Safety Board produced an extended investigation report into the 2018 accident that also considered accidents on Toucan Arrow (2013) Beauforce (2015) Lady Christina (2017) Karina C (2019) and Cimbris (2020). Five crew and one port worker were fatally injured, one per accident, across this group.
In all six cases:
- no physical separation between persons and moving equipment
- no prevention of other operations in danger zone
- crane operator could not see the casualty
- no communication between crane operator and casualty
- no crew saw the accident happen
- equipment movement alarms were clearly audible in four cases, marginal in one and inaudible in one case
- emergency stop button not within reach of any casualty
- During hatch crane operations the basic principle has to be that nobody will cross the hatch crane rails while the hatch crane is in use. If it is necessary to cross the rails, the hatch crane will not be moved.
- Further raise awareness of the risk of hatch crane entrapment to shipowners and necessity of clear agreements regarding operations being carried out in the danger zone. Use shipowner experience to define the hatch crane danger zone and determine which activities should/should not be allowed to take place in the danger zone.
- Make clear agreements about the exact location of the danger zone in relation to the hatch crane and which activities need to be carried out in the danger zone during moving and working with the hatch crane.
ICHCA International is committed to helping industry to learn lessons fast, learn them once and make sure that they stay learnt. This information is intended to provide all organisations in the cargo supply chain with the opportunity to consider the events and to review and adapt their own health and safety control measures to proactively prevent future incidents.
We are grateful to Dutch Safety Board for providing details and to the Nautical Institute for raising awareness. We acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others. If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls. Learning content like this is highly valuable as it is based on real-world experience. We encourage everyone with publishable information about incidents to send it to us, so that we can raise awareness across the whole industry. Please contact us at email@example.com; sharing your insight could save a life or prevent injury.