On 11 May 2016, the chief officer on board the UK registered general cargo ship Johanna C fell from a large steel cargo unit that was being repositioned in the vessel’s forward hold. The chief officer was moved ashore and taken to a local hospital by ambulance, but he died shortly after arrival.
The investigation identified that:
• It was inherently unsafe and unnecessary for the chief officer to stand on top of the cargo while it was being lifted; the risks of standing on a load under tension were not recognised.
• The chief officer lost his balance and fell onto the deck following the sudden and unexpected movement of the cargo and/or its lifting slings as the cargo was lifted.
• The sudden and unexpected movement of the cargo and /or its slings was possibly due to the slings slipping from their intended positions.
• The crew’s response following the chief officer’s fall was immediate and positive.
Following the accident, Carisbrooke Shipping Ltd, Johanna C’s manager, has prohibited its crews from standing on loads under tension. The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has also taken action to include the dangers of standing on loads being lifted in its Code of Safe Working Practices.
In view of the action taken, no recommendations have been made.
Read the MAIB report in full: MAIB Report Joanna C 01_2017