London Club Warns about Dangers of Working Aloft

Wednesday, May 14, 2003
The London P&I Club has warned its members about the potential dangers inherent in the practice of working aloft on board ship. In the latest issue of its StopLoss Bulletin, the Club reports two recent deaths which have occurred on board members' vessels. In one case, a crew member disappeared after going to carry out routine checks on some refrigerated containers. No-one on board witnessed the incident and, by the time the man was reported missing, he had not been seen for some considerable time. Eventually, he was presumed lost overboard. In the other case, a crew member fell to his death from a painting platform to the deck below. Subsequent investigations revealed that, even though a lifeline had been rigged and properly secured, it was not being worn by the crew member. The club says, "The importance of properly deployed safety measures and procedures being observed at all times when working aloft, alone or near the ship's rail, cannot be emphasised strongly enough. "Crew members should always inform a responsible person when and where they are working, and what they are doing. And they should at all times wear a suitable safety harness and lifeline." Elsewhere in StopLoss, the Club highlights the problems that can arise from the inadequate lashing of cargo, and reminds members that the collecting of causation of evidence will be of particular importance with regard to protecting their position.
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