Stevedore Injury During Cargo Operations – Investigation Report

On 20 February 2006, a team of Stevedores was engaged in the discharge of steel products from the starboard side of No. 2 hatch of a Cargo Ship which was starboard side to at Jellicoe wharf in Auckland. The team consisted of a Foreman Supervisor and three Stevedores within the ships hold, a Hatchman on deck and a driver operating the ship’s crane.

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The cargo for discharge in Auckland consisted of steel pipes, beams and coils. The majority of the coils were stowed horizontally but there were 12 top hat coils stowed hard up against the forward bulkhead, beneath the hatch coaming. The Foreman Supervisor noticed that some of the top hat coils were labelled as being for discharge in Timaru whereas on his discharge plan they were all marked for discharge in Auckland. The Foreman Supervisor contacted the Operations Supervisor for clarification, who confirmed that the top hat coils were all to be discharged in Auckland. The remaining cargo in the hold was destined for Timaru and consisted of steel beams and pipes

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The Foreman Supervisor decided that due to the nature of the stow and the room within the hatch, the team would have to utilise a fork hoist as best they could in conjunction with the ship’s crane in order to move the top hat coils away from the bulkhead and into the square of the hatch. This method was used successfully for the discharge of several coils. However, when there were three coils remaining, it was discovered that as they were stowed hard up against each other, it was not possible to pass wires around them to drag them into the square of the hatch nor was it possible to use the fork hoist. The  stevedores used a web sling which, being thinner than a wire, they were able to pass around the coil.

The crane’s pennant was attached to the sling. The Foreman Supervisor then gave orders to the hatchman which he relayed to the crane driver. The crane was slewed slowly in order to drag the coil out. As the coil was dragged, its angle away from the vertical increased and the coil fell onto its side onto the tank top.

Instead of standing up on end when the Stevedores attempted to right the coil, it swung across the deck. The Foreman Supervisor was standing in the way of the swinging coil and his leg was pinned between the coil and the adjacent steel beams.

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The remaining members of the team were able to move the coil clear of the Foreman Supervisor and a telephone call was made immediately to the emergency services at 2144 hours. The injured Foreman Supervisor was lifted from the hold and taken by ambulance to hospital.

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The investigation report that has been conducted regarding the accident concluded that:

  • The stowage of the steel coils was unsatisfactory.
  • The coils were stowed hard against the ship’s bulkhead and beneath the hatch coaming.
  • The presence of cargo bound for Timaru in the square of the hatch precluded the use of a fork hoist which would normally have been used.

As a result the following recommendations have been made:

  1. The stevedoring company should remind their employees of the dangers associated in using cranes to discharge cargo from areas outside the square of the hatch.
  2. The stevedoring company have appropriate procedures for dealing with the discovery of discharge cargo that has been poorly stowed at the loading port.
  3. The  stevedoring company should instruct their employees in the correct places to stand during cargo operations in order to remain safe should something unforeseen occur.
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The cargo ship where the incident took place.

Source: Maritime New Zealand


  1. You can help to recive safety first, Thank you!
    The importance of human safety in the transportation of coils is often underestimated and many times ignored. We have seen over the years people that have been injured and also lost lives due to improper measures of security.
    For a number of years we have been fighting with companies to show them that “Safety can be so Simple!” yet time after time they choose to ignore safety and continue with old methods of transport that cost lives.

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