Case Relates to the death of an electrical officer on board a container vessel.

In a container vessel, the accommodation lift was found malfunctioning. The electrical officer worked whole half day, but he could not fix up the problem. The Chief Engineer advised him to keep the lift ‘out of service’ mode and continue his job next day. The electrical officer, stopped the job and came down to the ER and finished his UMS rounds and went to his cabin.Later in the evening, it was noticed that electrical office had not come to the dining hall for dinner, and a search was made. He was not found in his cabin. Later in the night he could be traced ‘dead’ on the top of the lift.On enquiry, it was found that the electrical officer, without informing anybody, came back in the evening to ER and had put the power ON for the lift and had gone on the lift to check something.

He might have thought, that since everybody is aware of the condition of the lift, no body will operate. But the 2nd cook, who went in search of him had operated the lift, which had damaged the electrical officer’s head by smashing on top, as he was on top of the lift causing he death.

Lesson learnt :

whenever working on an equipment, always keep the sign board ‘MEN WORKING, DO NOT OPERATE’. Also, inform the duty engineer and the bridge, incase working alone in any such place which does not have any communication arrangement. It is better to keep a standby person while working aloft.

(Mr Naushad P G 2/E, 20.08.07)
hindustan institute of marine training chennai