A SAFE Means of Access (3)

A SAFE Means of Access (3)

This report should be read in conjunction with A SAFE Means of Access (1) and (2)


CHIRP has received several reports related to means of access – wire failures, falling overboard and design issues are all discussed below.

What the Reporter told us (3)

On a newly built vessel, mooring had been completed and the ship’s gangway was being rigged to provide access to the shore. Whilst rigging, it was found that the ship’s portable ladder, (bulwark ladder), did not fit properly on the ships side railings so it did not provide safe access to the vessel. Given the potential for personnel injury, it was obvious that the portable ladder was incorrectly supplied by the shipyard.

The means of access to a ship should be safe, and may consist of an appropriate gangway or accommodation ladder with a properly secured safety net fitted. Particular attention to safe access should be given where there is a large height difference between the point of access to the ship and the jetty. When terminal access facilities are not available and a ship’s gangway / ladder is used, there should be an adequate landing area on the berth so as to provide the gangway or accommodation ladder with a sufficient clear run of space to maintain safe and convenient access to the ship at all states of tide and changes in the ship’s freeboard.

CHIRP Comment

This report reveals there are still newly built ships using poor design features that have not been challenged by ship owners and those approving plans e.g. Classification Societies. Who had oversight of equipment supply in the yard? Was it inspected and rigged before hand-over?  Clearly not!

It is highlighted that the danger as reported is at the interface between the bulwark and the ladder, and that personnel must be able to safely transition between the two.

Report Ends

Please see A SAFE Means of Access (1) and (2) for the other reports on this subject