A watertight door left open and unsecured on main deck. This created potential injury to limbs. Causal factors: Failure to follow procedures and an inadequate securing system.
Lessons Learned: There is a need to improve safety awareness onboard; hazards can be encountered in all onboard activities including the routine ones. Hazards are controlled through the implementation of the Company Safety Procedures, onboard training and good seamanship practices. A moment of inattention could result in injury.
Leaving these doors permanently open at sea increases the risk of progressive flooding and loss of stability. International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) describes how watertight doors should be used, including how and when these doors can be left open and when they need to be closed. Vessel management teams are encouraged to ensure that all personnel are aware of the risks and that watertight doors are kept closed and to use all of the dogs.
IMCA advised in 2001, there are a few safety basics for protecting your hands and body when walking through watertight doors.
- In rough sea conditions, use both hands to control heavy passage doors
- When entering through a doorway look up and look down to avoid striking head and feet on doorframe
- Always face the door when both opening and closing the door
- Never attempt to open or close a watertight door while holding an object in your hands
- Never lose contact with door. Always grasp door with at least one hand
- Never grasp a door by its edge. Always hold the door by an inside or outside handle.
If regulations will allow, consider installing a door closure device designed to aid door control and stability.