MAIB publishes report on 2020 fatal crush incident on cargo ship in Antwerp

Cimbris (Photo: Junge)
Cimbris (Photo: Junge)

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has published its investigation report on an incident wherein a stevedore was crushed to death during cargo operations on a berthed vessel in the Port of Antwerp in Belgium on July 14, 2020.

On the said date, a port stevedore on board the Gibraltar-registered general cargo vessel Cimbris was fatally crushed when a hatch cover was moved by the ship's gantry crane.

The MAIB said no one saw the stevedore place himself in a hazardous position between the crane and the hatch cover, and the ship's chief officer did not have a clear line of sight.

The following safety issues were identified:

  • The hatch cover lifting operation was not properly planned, adequately supervised, or carried out in a safe manner.
  • Banksmen were not used and the hatch cover was carried over people working below.
  • Communications between the stevedores and ship's crew demonstrated a weak safety culture.
  • The stevedore had placed himself in danger.
  • The stevedore was unsighted by the gantry crane operator.

A recommendation has been made to German charterer Briese Dry Cargo to improve the safety culture on board its vessels. Recommendations have also been made to Centrale der Werkgevers aan de Haven van Antwerpen to improve the safety culture among port workers and to review compliance with safe working practices on board customer vessels.

The MAIB said it conducted this investigation on behalf of the Gibraltar government in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the MAIB and the Red Ensign Group Category 1 registries of Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Gibraltar.

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