4th April 05

On a container ship crewed with Chinese ratings, I had just joined in Singapore and was taking over from a polish 2nd Engineer. In Singapore a lot of steel plates were received as engine stores. So the 2nd eng told the fitter, oiler and 1 engine cadet to secure those plates on the aft deck. They were securing the plates in a vertical position. When they were on the job, suddenly 2nd engineer called fitter for another job.

The fitter left those plates without realizing the consequences. All those plates fell on the oiler & cadet. The oiler's legs got trapped. No one was around except the cadet, who had to run and call others to help. Finally the plates were removed and the oiler's leg was found to be fractured. He was taken off for medical treatment.

1) The method of securing the plates was wrong.
2) The fitter should not have left the workplace before ensuring things were under control.
3) The oiler should have reacted more smartly to avoid the falling plates.
hindustan institute of marine training chennai