Crewmember injures finger due to lack of focus


The incident

Crew were working to move load handling containers onto the skid deck using a ‘safe hands’ tool (blind lift).

A container was landed onto the skid deck. As it was being manoeuvred into position against the back skid rail, the container moved to the right. The crewman moved towards the side of the container and during this process his hand, which at the time was placed at the back end of the ‘safe hands’ tool, contacted a scaffold rack.

His finger was nipped between the scaffolding rack and the butt of the ‘safe hands’ tool, causing the loss of the tip of one of his fingers.

Operations were stopped and the load made safe. A time out for safety occurred with the deck crew to review practices and the risk assessment.

Probable cause

As IMCO reports:

  • Although all personnel on the job were competent and experienced in conducting the task, the focus and attention of the injured person was on moving the container and not on his immediate surrounding;
  • The gap between the container and the scaffolding rack was not identified as a hazard before starting the job;
  • The load handler’s hand was at the back of the ‘safe hands’ tool and out of his view and focus.


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