A vessel was in port for maintenance.
A shipyard’s gangway was attached to the vessel’s deck and placed on top of a stairway tower platform on the quayside.
The gangway was fixed at the vessel side and could move via rollers on the platform side.
During stormy weather, there were sudden gusts of 50 knot winds, resulting in the vessel being pushed off the quay.
The gangway rolled off the platform tower and fell 5.2m (17 ft) to the quay.
The vessel’s side of the gangway remained attached to the vessel.
No-one was injured as no one was around at the time, but there was the potential for a fatal incident.
Why did it happen?
In response to the weather forecast, precautions were put in place, including additional mooring lines, additional manpower to monitor mooring lines and gangway watchman closely observing gangway movements. However, the potential risk of a falling gangway was not considered or recognised.
The mooring ropes stretched allowing the vessel to move away from the quay (the ropes worked as designed).
Access and egress are considered as a low-risk routine duty task, however there was no consideration for safety in design. The positioning of the stairs in front of the platform forced personnel to pass underneath the gangway, which can be classified as supported load.
What did they learn?
Fit alternative gangways to a lower deck direct to the quayside where possible.
Ensure weather reports are reviewed with regard to all operations being carried out.
Ensure that risk assessments address safe access and egress to the vessel.
Ask yourself or your crew
How could this happen on your vessel?
Is there a safer set-up that can be used for securing gangways, particularly during bad weather?
Does our set-up require personnel to pass underneath a gangway? If so, how can we eliminate this risk?
How might the weather forecast affect today’s operations?
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<a href="https://www.imca-int.com/alert/1690/vessel-gangway-rolled-off-platform-tower-and-fell-to-the-quayside-in-high-wind/ " target="_blank" style="text-decoration:underline;color:#00a0e4;">Courtesy of IMCA</a>