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Ro-Ro Loading Operation Safety Bulletin

SSM Roundel

Steamship Mutual

Published: November 01, 2021

The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has recently published a Safety Bulletin for an accident which took place at the port of Liverpool, England on board a roll-on roll-off ferry during the loading operation of semi-trailers in which a crewmember suffered a fatal crushing injury.

This accident is currently being investigated by the MAIB and the full report will be published on completion of the MAIB’s work. In the meantime, however, Members operating roll-on roll-off vessels are recommended to take note of the initial findings and safety lessons from the MAIB safety bulletin as follows:–

  • Where tractor units are being used to push semi-trailers, safety procedures must be in place to ensure that deck crew are not standing in the vehicle’s path.
  • Review cargo handling procedures to identify the hazards associated with stowage spaces where there may be limited areas for escape.
  • Conduct a specific risk assessment for all such spaces. These spaces should then be marked and, unless appropriate mitigating measures can be put in place, not used.
  • Ensure that onboard safety procedures and crew safety briefings reflect the guidance in COSWP Section 27.6.3.

The Club has produced a series of Safety Posters for RO-RO and PCTC vessels which can be found at the following link:


*Our thanks to MAIB for permission to reproduce this image from their report.

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