A dry dock of a ship is a hazardous place to work at. Despite implementing measures for ensuring the safety of seafarers and workers at the dry dock, accidents can still occur frequently. Be it human error, lack of knowledge, experience, or insufficient safety equipment, in the end, the seafarers have to suffer the most.
A various number of causes are asserted reasons for accidents that occur onboard ships during dry docking in the vessel’s engine and deck sections. Although most of these causes are similar for both sections, the engine room is highly prone to accidents during the dry dock.
The ship’s engine room comprises a variety of machinery and systems that work together to move the ship. Thereby, the engine room crew needs to know all the operations and procedures for the ship’s dry dock. However, despite everything, accidents still occur in the engine room of ships. Below mentioned are some of the most common engine room accidents during dry-docking –
Fire- One of the most common and dangerous causes of accidents during the dry dock is fire. It can damage the ship’s machinery and pose a risk to the lives of seafarers. A fire may erupt due to hot works or a short circuit of electrical connections in the engine room. Proper insulation, adequate circuits, and electrical boards must be put in to avoid overloading.
Injuries due to falling of load– When machinery and the system go for maintenance during ship dry-docking, parts are lifted to and from the engine room. There have been several cases where the falling of load on crew members has led to deaths. Thus, wearing a helmet is compulsory in the ship’s engine room. In addition to this, the following can be considered to prevent accidents in the engine room-
- A minimum of two people must be assigned for any task of lifting load using cranes. One member can operate the crane, and others can give direction and warn people to avoid accidents.
- Members of the crew should not walk under any load when it is lifted by the crane, even when they are wearing helmets.
Falling/ Tripping of personnel- During the dry dock, numerous spare parts, tools, and equipment are kept around in the ship’s engine room. This is why a seafarer is highly susceptible to trips and falls in the engine room, which can even become extremely harmful in some cases. At times, oil or small-sized spare parts are also found lying on the floor plate, which becomes another reason for falling or tripping. Personnel can also fall from height due to scaffold or safety harness failure. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that all platforms situated at height are secured; and appropriate safety measures are provided.
Enclosed Space Accidents– Enclosed spaces are the most dangerous areas of an engine room due to the presence of toxic and flammable gases. There have been various cases of accidents that have led to unconsciousness and death of seafarers even after these spaces were gas-freed. Thus, it is important to ensure that enclosed spaces are gas freed and tested.
In addition to this, various other accidents can occur while dry-docking a ship. As this procedure is an important activity for ships, the crew should take complete care and precaution to avoid accidents. Since there is a significant need for dry-docking, Sinotech Marine is here to provide the best services. We offer ship dry-docking service for all types of ships. Connect with us to know more about our maritime services.