Waiting for a decision on risky work with mooring ropes

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A seaman broke both feet when he jumped ashore to take the mooring line after the ship had arrived. The Swedish Transport Agency is taking a serious stance on the event, but is postponing any decision on possible measures until the investigation is completed.

In the last issue of SAN news the Swedish Transport Agency’s work environment official, Mikael Andersson, warned about allowing crewmembers to jump ashore to catch the mooring rope instead of engaging a mooring-man. The risk of accidents and serious injuries during this practice is too large, he claims. In July an accident took place on Vargön shipping’s Tinto in conjunction with its arrival in Falkenberg. The ship arrived just before 2 a.m. A mooring-man had not been ordered and the cook seaman jumped ashore to catch the mooring rope. There was a handrail but since it was difficult to judge the distance to the quayside, the seaman chose not to use it. According to the accident report, the man landed badly on the quayside. He broke both heels and had to be taken to hospital immediately. The DP (designated person) at Vargö shipping, Fredrik Ahlman, says that as a rule the shipping company uses a mooring-man, although this is not a requirement.
The captain decides
– It is up to the captain to decide whether a mooring-man is needed, but if there is any doubt one should be used. Costs involved are small, so it is not a financial issue.
Fredrik Ahlman says that the shipping company is waiting for the report from the Swedish Transport Agency before taking any measures. He does not exclude the possibility of introducing a requirement for using a mooring-man.
– After what happened we may consider including this in an ISM – naturally, we do not want anyone to be injured.
The Swedish Transport Agency is very critical of the practice of allowing crew to jump ashore when mooring.
– This is very serious, says work environment official Tove Jangland.
Linda Sundgren

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