CHIRP has received several reports which demonstrate individuals continuing to take alarming risks and failing to consider “what if” something unexpected was to happen? We highlight two of these reports below.
What the reporter told us (1)
Sailor observed painting the anchor. The anchor was lowered part way out of the hawse pipe and a rope ladder lowered down to it, there was possibly a bosun’s chair, although this was unclear from the viewing angle. The sailor climbed down the rope ladder and began to work. He was wearing no hardhat, no lifejacket and no harness. There were no man ropes trailing in the water, and no lifebuoy in case he fell in. The people involved should have followed the guidance given in the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers – fully assess the risks, initiate a permit to work system, and carry out a tool box talk.
What the Third Party told us (1)
Thank you for your letter concerning this incident. We have once more reviewed our existing procedures with all crew involved, and emphasized that no deviation from our policies and procedures will be tolerated as safety is our top priority.
What the reporter told us (2)
Whilst waiting for a pilot to disembark from MV ‘xxx’, I noted a crew member on another ship alongside using a rope ladder without wearing a life jacket.
What the Third Party told us (2)
Attempts to contact the Third Party were not successful but CHIRP is aware that local Port Sate Control officials followed the matter up with the Third Party.
Having discussed both reports the Maritime Advisory Board commented that they appeared to demonstrate a complete lack of awareness of self-preservation. The Board encourages seafarers to question whether they should be on a ship with this standard of safety culture. Seafarers need not do a full risk assessment for each job, but it is prudent to consider ‘what if’ something was to happen? What are the consequences? There may be a lack of SMS compliance, there may be a lack of adherence to the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers 2015, and there may be a lack of effective supervision, but in the final analysis it is your life, and you have a family and loved ones back home waiting for you. Is it really worth the risk?