On 08 May 2013, at 1455 Eastern Daylight Time, the dry bulk carrrier 'Federal Yoshino' was at anchor in Baie‑Comeau, Quebec when the crew member fell to the deck in a crane-hoisted provisioning basket from a height of about 5m when the hoisting cable parted, informs the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in a recently released investigation report.
The bulker was at anchor awaiting the arrival of a grain cargo when the accident occurred, and the crew was employed in general ship maintenance.
Events leading to the accidental death
At the time of occurrence, the bosun was working alone to chip rust aloft using a crane that was not suitable for lifting personnel. While the bosun was manoeuvring the crane, the crane block exceeded its set limit, but the limit switch was not activated and the electric motor kept operating. From inside the basket, the bosun’s view of the crane block was obstructed, limiting his ability to identify that it had exceeded its set limit.
The crane block made contact with the underside of the boom head and the winch continued to pull, overstressing the hoisting cable and bringing it in contact with the separator plate.Footnote 22 The combination of overstress and contact with the separator plate caused the cable to part,Footnote 23 Footnote 24 releasing the basket in a 5 m free-fall. The bosun was transferred to a hospital and was pronounced dead.
Findings as to causes and contributing factors
- Although the crane was not suitable for lifting personnel, it was being used to work aloft.
- The limit switch did not cut power to the electric winch motor when the crane block exceeded the set limit, likely because the lifting rod was not properly rigged.
- The bosun’s view of the crane block was obstructed from the position inside the basket, limiting the bosun’s ability to identify that the block had exceeded its set limit.
- The crane block made contact with the underside of the boom and the winch continued to pull, causing the hoisting cable to part and the basket to fall approximately 5 m.
Findings as to risk
- If equipment that is not suitable for working aloft is used for this purpose, the risk of injury or death to crew members is increased.
- If procedures in place to protect the safety of crew are not enforced, the risk of injury or death to crew members is increased.