On 5 February 2006, Pacific Sun berthed at number eight wharf Darling Harbour, Sydney. The weather was fine with little wind. The twelve to four quartermaster was assigned to clean rust streaks from the outside of the port bridge wing windows. At 1205 the senior second officer checked the safety harness and completed a work permit, as required by the working aloft procedure, but no workplace risk assessment was used in planning the job.
The quartermaster, wearing the safety harness, then started work on a catwalk outside the port bridge wing. At about 1249 he fell approximately 24 metres onto the wharf below. He died as a result of the injuries sustained from the fall. He was an experienced seaman who had been inducted in the ship's safety management system and had done this task many times.
The ATSB's investigation report concludes that the quartermaster's harness was not properly attached to the grab rail when he probably lost his footing and fell. The contributing factors to the incident include an inadequate safety harness, the design of the catwalk, an inadequate workplace risk assessment and procedures, the ineffective use of personal protective equipment and that the quartermaster may have been distracted from the task at the time by non-work related issues. There was no evidence to support a suggestion that he may have committed suicide.
The ATSB has made several safety recommendations with the aim of preventing further incidents of this type.
|Date:||05 February 2006||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||Darling Harbour, Sydney|
|State:||New South Wales|
|Release date:||22 December 2006|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Type of operation||Passenger|
|Damage to vessel||Nil|
|Departure point||New Caledonia|