TT Talk - Dangers to personnel in container operations

The Nautical Institute, an international professional body for qualified seafarers and others with an interest in nautical matters, provides a wide range of services to enhance the professional standing and knowledge of its members. One of these services is the maritime accident reporting scheme (MARS), where members can report accidents and nearaccidents confidentially without fear of litigation. Dangerous practices, navigational difficulties and other hazards are thus highlighted in an effort to improve safety.

We draw your attention to two MARS reports, both by masters of container ships, highlighting the dangers to personnel (whether stevedores or ship's crew), standing on the tops of containers during loading operations.

The first report includes a picture which graphically illustrates the tragic consequences of a moment's inattention. A follow-up report by the second master shows another stevedore putting his life at risk in a very similar situation during container handling operations. The second report also contains some trenchant comments by the master on unsafe practices he has witnessed in many ports.