Risk Focus: Tugs and Barges by the UK P&I Club

Risk Focus Tugs and Barges published by UK P&I
Risk Focus Tugs and Barges published by UK P&I

The UK P&I Club has published a Risk Focus which is intended to promote best practice covering vessel owners and operators of tugs and barges.

Over 80% of tug claims concern injury or illness of personnel. Other claim types include collision, cargo, pollution, damage to fixed or floating objects, and fines – but the number of those claims is very small compared with personnel injury/illness claims. In terms of the dollar cost of claims, the picture is very similar – personnel claims account for 79% of the value of claims. The total cost of pollution incidents has proven to be more costly than incidents of collision, damage to fixed or floating objects, and all other claim types. Therefore, personnel claims is the clear area to apply focus to reduce the number of incidents and their impact on these vessels.

In terms of frequency and value, most claims and the majority of cost are associated with falls from heights (i.e. falls between two levels). Slip, trip and fall incidents (i.e. on the same level) are close behind, making fall incidents the biggest concern with tugs. Accidents resulting in burn injuries are common, but strain injuries have proven much more costly – typically because of the extent of surgery and medical aftercare required in musculoskeletal cases. Other significant accident types on tugs include getting caught in machinery and being struck by falling/flying/moving objects.

Lifting Operations

Lifting appliances, loose lifting gear and lifting operations need to be very well managed. Failure of a lifting arrangement can have fatal consequences for personnel involved, even with relatively lightweight loads. Therefore:
– Personnel should be adequately trained and competent in rigging/slinging and crane operating.
– All components of lifting equipment should be certified and routinely inspected.
– Appliances should be checked and safety devices tested at start-up. Loose gear should be inspected before each use. – Defective equipment should be promptly taken out of service.
– When there is any suspicion that any lifting equipment or any part of that equipment may have been subjected to excessive loads, exceeding the safe working load (SWL), or subjected to treatment likely to cause damage, it should be taken out of service until it can be subjected to a thorough examination by a competent person.

Download the Risk Focus: Risk Focus: Tugs and Barges

Instagram Posts from the IIMS @iimsmarine