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Multiple near miss events involving davit crane chain hoists

  • What happened?

    First occurrence:

    Two technicians were operating the davit crane hoist on the wind turbine generator (WTG) transition piece (TP) external working platform.

    Having lowered all their bags to the crew transfer vessel (CTV), they reeled in the chain hoist without any load when the stored chain unexpectedly fell from the chain bag, dropping from the TP towards the CTV.

    One of the technicians tried to grab the chain, which was too greasy to hold, while the other rotated away the davit crane towards the TP.

    Consequently, the chain, weighing around 3.85 kg (8.5 lbs), dropped and landed close to the CTV.

    The CTV deck crew had followed the procedures and were standing at least 8 metres (26 feet) away from the landing area.

    According to the drops calculator, the chain's estimated fall from 10-15 metres (32-49 feet) could potentially lead to a fatality.

    Second occurrence:

    A similar event occurred three months later, coinciding with the implementation of investigation actions from the initial occurrence.

    However, on this occasion, the crew member was operating near the drop zone at the front of the deck, but the chain fell further away from the CTV and in the sea.​

    According to the drops calculator, considering the weight of approximately 3.85 kg (8.5 lbs) and the estimated height of 10-15 metres (32-49 feet), this incident would potentially result in a fatality.

    Dropped chain hoist
  • Why did it happen?

    The chain hoist design was not inherently safe as it allowed the chain to fall out of the chain bag under specific conditions.

    With no load on the chain hoist, technicians were unaware of the potential risks associated with proximity to the drop zone.

    Additionally, technicians lacked awareness of the hazards associated with attempting to grab the falling chain.

    Why did it happen - icon
  • What did they learn?

    Emphasise the critical importance of strictly adhering to procedures on the CTVs to ensure a 'fail safe' approach through effective controls and mitigations, preventing anyone from being in the line of fire.

    Conduct a thorough examination of chain hoist designs to determine their inherent safety and take appropriate follow-up actions based on the assessment.

    Ensure that individuals operating davit cranes are fully informed about the potential line of fire risks associated with their activities.

    Promote awareness regarding the risks associated with attempting to grab falling chains, ensuring that all personnel are well-informed and cautious in such situations.

    What learn - icon
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    How can something like this happen on our site?

    What are the potential hazards associated with attempting to grab falling chains?

    What procedures do you follow when reeling in the chain hoist without any load, and what are the potential risks associated with this type of operation?

    How can you ensure that your chain hoist designs are fit for purpose, and what additional measures can you take to enhance safety?

    What are the potential hazards associated with attempting to grab falling chains?

    How robust are the controls/mitigations on your asset/business for safe lifting and hoisting, and how do you know they’re working?

    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 17/11/23 1524 Views

This presentation outlines two incidents involving the operation of a davit crane hoist on a wind turbine generator (WTG) transition piece (TP) external working platform. The first incident, where the chain unexpectedly fell, led to a potential fatality risk, and a similar event occurred three months later, emphasizing issues with the chain hoist design and technician awareness.