Safe Working Practices – Working aloft and in cargo holds (3)

This report should be read in conjunction with articles Safe Working Practices – Working aloft and in cargo holds (2) and (3)


CHIRP has received several reports concerning unsafe working practices whilst engaged in cargo hold preparations and also when working aloft using ships cranes.

What the Reporter told us (3):

During a personnel transfer operation from our vessel to the bunker barge, a surveyor was to be transferred from our vessel to the barge using a “Billy Pugh” basket.

The bunker surveyor who was to be transferred, positioned himself into the centre of the “Billy Pugh”. This area is solely for baggage stowage and the correct method for transferring personnel is for the person to be positioned on the outside of basket, standing on the base ring with arms engaged through the netting.

This incident was disappointing since the surveyor had participated in the safety meeting before the task’s commencement. The operation was reviewed, and the transfer procedure was fully discussed with the surveyor. The transfer then proceeded without incident.


CHIRP Comment:

CHIRP highlights that in addition to the comments of the reporter, any personnel involved in personnel transfer should be wearing full PPE including life vests.

 Whilst the following link from the Standard P+I Club is mainly directed at transfer of personnel during ship to ship transfers, there are many aspects which are relevant to these reports and there are useful guidelines for all to be aware of. The article also shows pictures of the Billy Pugh arrangement for personnel transfer.

 Further guidance may be found in the MCA Marine Guidance Note MGN332 (M+F) Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 2006. In particular, attention of the reader is drawn to Regulation 7 of the Annex which highlights that, the employer shall ensure that no lifting equipment shall be used for lifting persons unless it is designed for the purpose. It also states that lifting equipment designed for lifting persons is designed or has suitable devices to prevent it from falling.

The Code of Safe Working Practices mentions the following;

  • 11.4 No person should be lifted except where the equipment is designed or specially adapted and equipped for that purpose, or for rescue or in emergencies.
  • There is a full section relating to personnel transfer in section 31.13.


Report Ends