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Health and safety

MAIB issues workboat safety recommendations after fatal crush investigation

26 May 2021

New workboat safety recommendations have been issued by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) following its investigation into a fatal crush incident at a fish farm in Scotland.

The fatality occurred during a transfer from workboat Beinn Na Caillich to a feed barge on 18 February 2020 at the Ardintoul fish farm, Ardintoul Point, Loch Alsh, Scotland.

The MAIB report into the crush incident, published on 26 May 2021, said the Ardintoul fish farm assistant manager drowned after falling into the water from a feed barge access ladder during a boat transfer. He stepped from the deck onto the ladder while the Beinn Na Caillich was still moving forward and was crushed between the boat and the barge. A fish farm technician onboard the barge attempted to stop the injured assistant manager from falling into the water by holding onto the back of his personal flotation device and oilskin jacket, but the severely injured casualty slipped out of them. Despite best efforts he could not be resuscitated.

The investigation concluded the conduct of the boat transfer had not been properly planned or briefed and was not adequately supervised or controlled.

The MAIB report recommended to fish farm owners Mowi (Scotland) Ltd that they should 'apply the standards set out in the Workboat Code Edition 2 to all its existing workboats and, specifically, to fully implement a safety management system across its fleet, as well as ensuring that it has appropriate marine expertise to oversee its marine operations.'

The report acknowledged that Mowi (Scotland) Ltd had since reviewed, revised, and developed policies and risk assessment method statements for embarking and disembarking vessels and had also engaged external auditors to undertake an audit of its current health and safety management systems.


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