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SECTION I: VEHICULAR ACCIDENTS
Summary No. 4 - Night Time Ro-Ro Operations
Employees performing Ro-Ro operations during the night shift were exposed to the hazard of being struck by a container on a chassis.
Containers of various lengths are loaded onto a barge during a Ro-Ro operation.
Activity at time of incident:
An employee was working in a lane where vehicles were backing up.
Longshoremen are performing a Ro-Ro operation aboard a barge at night. The barge has three decks, with vehicle lanes divided by concrete rub rails. During a regular night shift, the crew consists of 19 drivers, about 30 longshoreman, three supervisors (one per deck), and one maintenance supervisor. Containers of varying sizes are loaded during the operation, ranging in length from 20 to 53 feet. Additionally, some of the trucks tires blocked some of the lights that were placed along the side of the barge affecting the actual intensity of the illumination. The longshoreman on deck use their hands, whistle, hard hat and/or flashlights to notify the truck drivers of their position.
At the time of the incident, a longshoreman assisting with Ro-Ro operations was working in the lane on the third deck as a truck driver hauling a 53-foot-long container started backing up. At one point, while backing up, the driver noticed a hard hat on the ground, and believed it had been placed there by the hook-up man to indicate where the truck driver should stop. The driver continued to back up but stopped after feeling a bump. While backing up, the truck struck and killed the longshoreman working in the lane.
The victim was not wearing a high visibility vest at the time of the incident. Although employees were provided with high visibility vests, they were not required to wear them. The lighting was so poor in the area where the victim was struck that the supervisor had to use a flashlight to identify the victim. Although employees were provided with strobe lights to put on their shirt sleeves, it did not solve the visibility problem at the terminal and its use was optional. The trucks back-up alarm was working but may not have been heard due to the noise generated by the Ro-Ro operations.
Truck drivers had not received initial or refresher training.
Applicable Standards and Control Measures
Other Relevant Standards and/or Control Measures
Page last updated: 04/12/2010