Call Made for Better Maritime Injury Reporting

file photo
file photo

Published Dec 18, 2019 5:31 PM by The Maritime Executive

Lamar University, ABS and the American Club are calling on industry to undertake more comprehensive reporting requirements for injury and near miss reporting.

The call follows an industry-wide project analyzing more than 12,000 injury records with a financial cost of $246 million and a further 100,000 near miss reports from the ABS and Lamar University Mariner Safety Research Initiative (MSRI) and nearly a decade of data from the American Club.  

The research has revealed inconsistent data and a lack of comprehensiveness, but the analysis also revealed:

Injuries occur most frequently while lifting or in slips, trips or falls. According to American Club data, these 1,300 incidents cost in excess of $85 million for the six-year period studied. The average cost per incident exceeds $65,000: lifting incidents averaged $48,000; falls and trips averaged $88,000; slips averaged $56,000. The two most costly body locations were the head and neck, averaging just over $100,000 per incident followed by the back and torso at $66,000.

Common locations for falls that caused injury were on deck (43 percent), in the engine room (13 percent), and on stairs (seven percent). Common locations for slips that caused injury were on deck (44 percent), on stairs and ladders (13 percent) and in the engine room (11 percent). Contributing factors for the injury records included situational awareness, spills, poor housekeeping and inappropriate lighting. Key contributing factors related to near misses include situational awareness, housekeeping, asset design, seafarer fatigue, lack of following procedures, and lack of anti-skid material on decks.

Lifting injuries mostly occurred on deck (45 percent), in the engine room (25 percent), in cargo areas (five percent), and in the galley (five percent). Back injuries (46 percent), arm and hand (30 percent) and leg and foot (13 percent) were the most common body locations for lifting-related injuries. 

Suffocation and asphyxiation injury events were 0.3 percent in the ABS/Lamar data set and two percent in the American Club data set. Ineffective enclosed space procedures were 1.8 percent of near miss reports in the ABS/Lamar data set.

Joseph Hughes, the Shipowners Claims Bureau’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, “Shipping is currently navigating through a digital era in which asset owners are increasingly able to use the power of operational data to predict potential failures. As those capabilities grow, the industry would be well counselled to also get ‘smarter’ about how it compiles and uses its safety data.”

A summary report is available here.