Fall Protection at Marine Terminals
Marine terminals can be very dangerous, and there are many fall hazards at these locations. In many terminals, personnel platforms are attached to the container spreaders of container handling gantry cranes. With these cranes, workers are able to transport workers, tools, and equipment from container ships efficiently.
While this method is practical, it is not always the safest. Workers can easily fall off of the platforms while they are being transported or while they are performing some of their duties such as attaching and removing lashing equipment from stacks of cargo containers, or disconnecting the twist locks that hold all of the cargo bins together.
At marine terminals workers also tend to climb on top of the cargo bins which are stacked high up off the ground. The OSHA requires that employers watch employees and ensure that they use personal fall protection systems when they are on the containers. Unfortunately, employers are not required to make sure employees use this harness system when they are on a personnel platform. OSHA says that employers and employees need to be careful when they are on personnel platforms and take every precaution to avoid falls.
One way to avoid falls is by placing closures such as locking gates on access openings. The OSHA says that these openings should swing open inwards and should be self-closing. Workers should stay away from this access opening when being hoisted even if the gate is securely locked.
In order to best prevent falls, OSHA says that workers should install anchorage points in personnel platforms so that workers who are being hoisted can use personal fall protection systems with harnesses and lifelines. These anchorage points should be far from the entry point of the platform and should not interfere with the movement of personnel on the platform while the lift is going on.
OSHA recommends that workers store all tools and equipment safely so that they won't create a tripping hazard or become a dangerous projectile. Foremen and gang bosses should use the same fall protection methods as other employees to enhance their own safety. Supervisors should coordinate lift operations and make sure that all crane operators, signal persons, people being lifted, and persons in charge of the operation are on the same page regarding the operation.
If you are an offshore injury worker who has been injured in a fall off of a personnel platform at a marine terminal, then you may be able to seek compensation as a result. You will want to talk to a professional offshore injury lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP for more information about this process. Marine workers have certain rights which must be honored by the courts. Don't hesitate to seek compensation if you believe that you deserve damages after your injury!