Alert
  • Published: 20 Jun 2024

Person injured during lifting of compressor

Person injured during lifting of compressor
Person injured during lifting of compressor

Description of Incident

A worker was crushed by heavy equipment under maintenance, when the vessel rolled slightly. On a very large vessel, a team of specialist contractors were working on a compressor in the engine room. The work required the use of chain blocks and other lifting equipment to lift the compressor which weighed 1865kg. This was further complicated by the compressor having an offset centre of mass.

The contractors were working alone without support from the vessel crew. The compressor was raised using two pieces of steel bar passed through the forklift guide arrangements at its base and then supported with three chain blocks. With the compressor suspended, one of the contractors lay on the deck to reach and disconnect the mounts beneath it.

At the same time, the vessel began its scheduled departure in rippled sea conditions with the wind gusting to 30kts. Shortly after leaving the berth the vessel rolled slightly and the compressor tilted from its suspended position, crushing the contractor.

The other contract workers quickly used the chain blocks to raise the compressor sufficiently for the contractor trapped beneath it to roll free with help. The alarm was raised and medical assistance soon arrived. The injured contractor was extracted from the engine room, stabilised in the ship's medical centre and subsequently airlifted to hospital. The contractor’s injuries included multiple rib fractures to both sides of their chest, a puncture to the chest wall into the pleural space and a fractured collarbone.

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