Alert
  • Published: 14 May 2024

Crew member injured by rotating crank handle - LTI

Crew member injured by rotating crank handle
Crew member injured by rotating crank handle

Description of Incident

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch has published Safety Digest 1/2024, consisting of lessons from recent Marine Accident Reports. IMCA has reviewed the report and will pass on to members some of the incidents which we consider to be of interest. This is one of them.

A winch drum, with cranking handle still attached, began to spin uncontrollably. The spinning cranking handle violently struck a crew member, fracturing their wrist. The incident occurred when the crew of a pusher tug were disconnecting lines from a cargo barge. The cargo barge ahead of the pusher tug was made fast with connecting lines that were attached to small manually operated coupling winches on the aft deck of the tug and passed forward to secure the barge.

Under the Master's guidance, two crew members were operating the starboard coupling winch to release the lines securing the barge; however, they contravened the vessel’s standard operating procedure by not removing a cranking handle connected to the winch drum. When the winch brake was released the tension in the line connected to the cargo barge caused the winch drum, and still attached cranking handle, to spin. Someone was stood in the way; the spinning cranking handle hit that person and injured them, causing a fractured wrist. They were taken ashore to hospital for treatment. The crew member was unable to return to work for several months due to the severity of the injury.

To view this IMCA safety alert in full, click the 'Download Alert' button above and refer to section 4 of the document.

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