Report Released on Seafarer Crushed by Cargo Hatch

cargo holds
cargo holds

Published Mar 31, 2020 7:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Accident Investigation Board Norway has released its report on the death of a crew member on board the fish carrier Rohav, stating the task he was undertaking had never been identified as a potential hazard.

On September 10, 2018, a crew member died during cargo preparations. He planned to replace a hose in the hydraulic system that operated the cargo hold hatch. When the hose was disconnected, the oil leaked and the hydraulic pressure dropped, making the cylinders lose their load capacity. The cargo hatch closed and crushed the man against the hatch frame.

This work had not been agreed with any other crew members, and nobody noticed that their colleague was trapped under the hatch cover before it was too late.

First aid was quickly started by the crew on board. The vessel went to Skaland to transfer the casualty to an air ambulance, but to no avail.

The investigation showed that the hatch covers were not any equipped with any securing devices. The ship's safety manual was incomplete with regard to work tasks involving the hatch cover. Such tasks had never been identified as a potential hazard, nor had risk assessments been carried out.

After the accident, the shipping company carried out a series of risk assessments and updated the safety management system. All ships in the fleet with similar hatch cover arrangements were equipped with hydraulic pressure safeguards as well as manual hatch cover securing devices. 

In addition, the designer shipyard has announced that in the future only hatch covers with additional safety devices will be delivered. Aside from that, the Norwegian Maritime Authority has published a safety message to prevent ambiguities in the interpretation of the relevant regulations.