Goods were going to be unloaded from a RoRo ship with a lift between the lower deck, main deck and a side port for loading and unloading. The lift had been placed as a ramp where goods would be lifted from the ship and unloaded from land. An able seaman noticed parts of a pallet on the lift and decided to remove them. He parked the truck by the side of the lift, lifted up the forks to the right height and then climbed up. When he was going to step from the forks to the ramp he stumbled and fell down in the lift shaft toward the lower deck, a fall of eight metres. He suffered from multiple fractures in different places and was in hospital for a long time. The company had underlined the risk of falls in connection with loading and unloading in its SMS, and the seaman who fell was experienced. In spite of this, he decided to climb close to the hole on the truck’s forks to get onto the ramp without any form of safety harness or basket on the truck. He most probably wanted to save time by taking the risk of climbing without any protection. Common to all the above accidents is that the crew member felt stressed for different reasons. They rushed the work without considering the cramped and sometimes dangerous environments on board a ship. The crew members may not have fully understood what their actions meant in terms of risks, or they underestimated the danger.
It is a challenge for both employers and employees to maintain a high level of safety in daily work. It is important to have an open and continuous dialogue on the risks, especially those that occur in the specific environment of their own ship. One way to avoid many dangers could be to let those who carry out the work on board to be more involved in renovation and new construction, so that places are designed for efficient and safe daily work.