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working over the side with harness
murf
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 6:53 AM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 32


Anybody got some tips on how to work over the side of the boat safely while suspended in a harness?
Anybody done a risk analysis or prepared a permit to work they want to share?

The new yacht I am on has some tracks with only one car, I thought you always had to attach to two cars for safety?

Anonymous
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 2:47 PM
For the most part, you do not necessarily need 2 cars, its more to ease the mind of the person on the harness. . of course 2 is better than one though. The way we do it is simple. . no questions about going over the side if the boat is at anchor, if at the dock, we will either pull the boat off the dock to work on that side,(if it has to be done now), or wait. If needed, have someone to get tools to help aid in the process, but things like washing or detailing should not take more than one person to do the job. The person going on the harness should do their own rigging, if not competent enough, have someone in a higher position check it for them to ensure safety. We never take ipods or anything but a radio out with us in the event of a fall into the water.
Firefly
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 6:00 PM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 13


Anonymous wrote:
For the most part, you do not necessarily need 2 cars, its more to ease the mind of the person on the harness. . of course 2 is better than one though. The way we do it is simple. . no questions about going over the side if the boat is at anchor, if at the dock, we will either pull the boat off the dock to work on that side,(if it has to be done now), or wait. If needed, have someone to get tools to help aid in the process, but things like washing or detailing should not take more than one person to do the job. The person going on the harness should do their own rigging, if not competent enough, have someone in a higher position check it for them to ensure safety. We never take ipods or anything but a radio out with us in the event of a fall into the water.

Seriously?
It only takes one bit of kit to fail and you could end up dead, not just wet. I would never go over the side with out being attached to two points. My yacht sent all the the deckies on a Rope Access course, we were taught how to do it safely, what kit to use, the safest knots, and how to maintain and look after the kit/ ropes.
It always amazes me to see people hanging over the the side with all kinds in inappropriate kit .
Get trained how to do it professionally - its your life you put at risk and you only get one.


murf
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 8:26 PM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 32


Hi Firefly,

Thanks for your reply! Can you tell me where you did your Rope Access course?

Can anybody recommend a Rope Access course in Italy (near Livorno)?

Thanks!

Firefly
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 10:19 PM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 13


http://www.industrial-rope-access.co.uk/

NB They flew out to us in Plama.


murf
Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 10:54 PM
Joined: 05/09/2008
Posts: 32


Thanks! I will look into it.

Anonymous
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:45 AM
Firefly, You have obviously never felt the strain or after effects of a harness after a fall? Yes it may save your life over a concrete dock, but trust me when I say you will love to hit water rather than have the harness take you to an abrupt stop. It is a tool to get access to locations otherwise prohibited without lines. As I said, it will save your life over a dock.As I said, all rigging is inspected by a competent person. Coming from firsthand experience, I personally would rather take a splash than be jerked around and injured by a harness. .
Firefly
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 5:58 PM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 13


Anonymous wrote:
Firefly, You have obviously never felt the strain or after effects of a harness after a fall? Yes it may save your life over a concrete dock, but trust me when I say you will love to hit water rather than have the harness take you to an abrupt stop. It is a tool to get access to locations otherwise prohibited without lines. As I said, it will save your life over a dock.As I said, all rigging is inspected by a competent person. Coming from firsthand experience, I personally would rather take a splash than be jerked around and injured by a harness. .


No, I 've not fallen in an harness, but would rather a 1m  max fall in a harness than a 10 - 15m fall into water. And then there are other variables such as are you using a rated fall harness? are you using a fall arrester?. Also alot depends on the size and design of your vessel. You can not always guarantee that you will have clear fall without hitting anything or even if there will always be clear water below.


chrismlewis
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 6:46 PM
Joined: 09/10/2008
Posts: 118


Code of Safe Working Practice REQUIRES that there are 2 points of failure before you can fall. The safety line needs to be tended by a third party so that there is no slack in it. It takes a little more man power, but it is not a good place to take short cuts... Right? I would also suggest that any insurance company would be able to avoid any claim where the CoSWP has not been followed. For those who do not know what the CoSWP is, find out and read the appropriate chapters. Some is not relevant at all to yachting, but a lot is very useful (to all departments!).
Ayo
Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 2:51 PM
Joined: 08/06/2010
Posts: 10


Complex issue . We have concluded a risk assessment on various yachts that have been installed with tracks and systems. We located only two models that are certified and that goes hand in hand with the installation and fittings to EN regulation. So all in all it is not as simple as equipment only. After looking at the equipment ( and yes -double cars as stated in the certified systems) adopt a procedure including check lists and equipment testing. Follow the MCA guide lines published and you will only add to your crew safety . Any further advise dont hesitate and contact . www.mvmsystem.info
Anonymous
Posted: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 5:16 PM
There is recent MGN on this topic. Basically you need a certified track system, 2 locking cars ( a third for equipment ) a COSWP harness in addition to bosuns chair if you like using them. Also Track Cap ends need to be of an approved type which I guess fall under certified track system. I saw a guy go zinging down an angled track once a few years ago and pop the end cap. He landed on the bridgedeck next to the wing station on the dock side of the boat very freaked out. Hope this helps. You will need a permit to work. Risk assessment has already been done in COSWP. here is the link :...... http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/shipsandcargoes/mcga-shipsregsandguidance/marinenotices/mcga-mnotice.htm?textobjid=99119589F5115789
Chief
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011 3:50 PM
Joined: 02/06/2008
Posts: 341


One of the approved systems is the Harken "Certified External Access System." Note that it requires the use of an HC9606 assembly which consists of two cars connected by a dogbone shaped strap in order to satisfy the certification requirements.
junior
Posted: Friday, June 10, 2011 7:40 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


I would be wise if the original poster stated the type of gear he is using. T tracks, cars, block and tackle, shackles, bosuns chair. "T" tracks and cars are plenty robust for human handling. Be aware that the rated loading on hardware such as tracks and track cars assumes the load is in tension...when using a T track for human topside work you are loading the track and car in sheer. This incorrect , perpendicular , sheer loading will drastically reduce the safe working load quoted by the manufacturer. Harken is backed up by good engineering customer service...they should be able to provide you with the safe working load limits for their gear when used in sheer. Proffesional working bosuns chairs are fitted with a spreader bar at chest height to relieve upper body squish load and crotch straps to keep the workman correctly seated in the chair. Be aware that it is very dangerous ...BLOOD CLOTS...to work seated in a bosuns chair for long periods. Half hour aloft has always been the rule of thumb.
TLC Refit & Repair
Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:05 AM
Joined: 14/06/2011
Posts: 1


Hi Murf Regarding MGN 422 Use of Equipment to Undertake Work Over the Side on Yachts and Other Vessels. Any track or pad eye system used for working aloft should be approved to EN 795 standard (if you are an EU flagged vessel?). The harness, work position lanyard, fall arrester and caribiners should also be approved to relevant EN standards. We are an approved Harken EAS traveller track and car installer and have installed this system on many large and small yachts. We have also developed an approved attachment system for installing the track on aluminium or steel shell plating that does not comply with the required bolt grip length regulations (the shell plating is too thin to adequately secure the track). This system is approved for use on all UK Flagged vessels by the MCA. If you would like any additional advice on this email me. mark.rudd@tlcrandr.com Regards, Mark Rudd
Tim
Posted: Monday, September 5, 2011 7:51 AM
Joined: 01/09/2011
Posts: 4


If you need a course on Safe Working practises the the EDH (Efficient Deck Hand) is just up your street. Its an MCA accredited course run at Ocean Taining Plymouth (web www.oceantraining.org.uk) and one of the many subjects taught is going aloft/over the side using the right gear and permits to work. Do it unsafely and the consequences if things go wrong are severe.
Rusty Wrench
Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 9:24 AM
Joined: 21/09/2010
Posts: 207


Efficient Deck Hand?

 

That's amusing


Captain Andy
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 11:26 AM
Joined: 17/09/2008
Posts: 93


@ Rusty Wrench ...... I've never seen one either!! LOL
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011 4:27 PM
Leave the air conditioned ECR more often and you might.
DominicWright
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 1:03 PM
Joined: 10/01/2013
Posts: 22


I know this is a really old post, but i have just been reading through and noticed that the mention of being uncomfortable etc being sat down in a harness for ages came up. If you were to buy your own kit for this sort of thing, look into Arboricultural equipment, ie: Tree surgery harness, they are designed to be sat down into, rather than fallen into like a regular recreational climbing harness. This means they have larger thigh pads, better back support than just a regular 'seat belt' type climbing harness
sean
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 4:06 PM
Joined: 05/06/2008
Posts: 87


Murf...a simple answer is yes, MCA changed their regulations for working overboard to 2 cars and they & the track must be of a certain working load...please refer to MCA website for this information.  Refer to your track manufacture for info on the cars you have (most likely Haarken or Ronstan). 

If MCA is not your concern, I suggest refering to someone whos has vast experience in going aloft...sailboaters for instance.  a good reference is http://briontoss.com/. They make excellent bosuns chairs which are comfortable, functional and youll find advisment for knots to use.   


junior
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 5:31 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Rigging Professionals use custom working chairs. A pro works aloft for a long time, so his working chair needs a spreader bar to keep his chest from being crushed and a seat that doesn't cut off the blood circulation to his legs. Blood clots kill riggers.. Virtually every chair on the market is junk. Douglass marine in Italy is the only, off the shelf , professional rigging chair that I know of. http://www.douglasmarine.com/banzigo.htm#
MarineDex
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 6:54 PM
Joined: 22/04/2010
Posts: 45


Junior is right the Douglass marine bosun chairs are the best around. I've spent more times up the rig then most people and even bring my own gear to the yachts so I always know what I'm trusting my life with. When it comes to going a loft, the levels in experience, training and understanding of the responsibility of the person on the winch as well as any spotter isn't really understood by many. I hope that a mandatory course comes into affect that trains people in safe working practices in regards to working at heights since it is surprising that their isn't accidents. If you want to see what happens when you spend 3 days up the rig in a climbing harness pulling shivs out of the rig at 60m because people didn't understand what they where check out my Facebook page and scroll down to see a great example. 

https://www.facebook.com/TheMarineDex



junior
Posted: Friday, January 11, 2013 8:14 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


SWI TEC of Switzerland makes a decent working chair. Many prefer it because its wood spreader bar doesn't scratch awlgrip. They used to be supplied with Swan Yachts.... SwiTec also make the best Handicap Chair in the Marine Industry. http://www.swi-tec.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=1&product_id=155 .......A handcap chair is critical for lifting disabled crew or guests aboard from the tender or recovering a depleted swimmer. http://www.swi-tec.com/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=1&product_id=16
 
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