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JICOSH Home > Case Studies > Case No.21
Case No.21

Caught between the dredge counterweight and a winch guard during dredging work to improve a fishing port

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[Circumstances of Incident]

The accident occurred at a site where fishing port improvements were being carried out.

Dredging work inside the port was being conducted as part of the improvement work.

In the morning of the day of the accident, a grab dredging convoy (a grab dredging vessel, a slurry barge and an anchor vessel) moved to the dredging site some 300 meters distant from the mooring area located on reclaimed land.

After the dredging convoy completed the installation of the dredger, workers confirmed the site where dredging had been carried out the previous day, and the operator was instructed to make some 10 to 12 passes with the dredge.

While the victim, who was a deckhand, was supposed to stand by while this work was done, he was voluntarily painting the starboard winch guard that was located within the swing radius of the counterweight that supported the dredge's rotating shaft. When the rotating dredge shaft started to swing, the victim's neck was suddenly caught between the counterweight and the steel frame of the winch guard, and suffered fatal damage to his cervical vertebrae.


The following can be cited as the causes of the accident.

1 On the day prior to the accident, the victim and a co-worker had climbed up the port winch guard to carry out the same type of painting work. However, as the port side was not within the swing radius of the counterweight, no problems had been encountered.

On the day of the accident, however, he was carrying out the same painting work by climbing up the starboard winch guard. As this was located well within the swinging radius, his neck was caught between the counterweight and the winch guard when the shaft started to swing.

2 As the victim was voluntarily carrying out the work on his own, there were no co-workers or witnesses present at the time of the accident.

[Type of business] Port and coastline construction
[Type of accident] Caught
[Number of victims] One fatality