Two stevedores were fatally injured during cargo operations on board of a 130 m long multi-purpose dry cargo ship.

Narrative
In port, a vessel of 7000 GT was berthed starboard side and started to load loose steel pipes in a centre tween deck. The vessel was partly loaded and the stevedores commenced the pipe stowage on port side. The stevedores first stacked a complete layer of pipes starting from the hold’s side and hold wall towards the opposite side. The second, third and fourth layer were placed without using the whole width of the hold as the slight list to port prevented the pipes from rolling. The loading process was interrupted when a container with lashing material on deck was to be placed onto the pier. When the vessel’s aft crane swung around to put the container on the pier, the vessel slightly moved over to starboard. As a consequence, the unsecured pipes rolled over to starboard and crushed two stevedores who were standing on the pipes. The stevedores were both fatally injured.

Findings
Although professional longshoremen were employed to load the pipes, the whole gang ignored basic safety regulations. Their behaviour was negligent and not professional. None of the five longshoremen had raised concerns related to the risk potential of unsecured stowage. It even appears that the longshoremen intended to take advantage of the vessel’s minimal port list to be able to stow without securing the layers of pipes with wedges.

Recommendation
On duty, officers of the watch should always be involved in the operations on board their vessel to ensure own safety awareness is kept upright at all times.