OGP Safety Alert – Broken deck winch footings




Country: null

Location: —

Release Date: —

Time incident occurred: —

Type of Activity: Lifting, crane, rigging, deck operations

Type of Injury: Struck by

Function: null

Applicabale Filter Categories: Struck by,Structural failure (offshore),System/Equipment failure


A vessel had been fitted with two deck winches to assist in diver operations. Both had been subjected to 3rd party load and 3rd party NDT testing on the sea-fastenings just a few days prior to the incident.

While one of the winches was being used to help orientate a load that was being swung out over the side of the vessel, it came off its footings and the short length of flexible air hose connecting it to the LP air ring-main parted, catching the winch operator under the arm and lacerating it severely.

The winch operator very calmly collected burning gear, which had been laid out ready to hand in case of need, and severed the winch wire to prevent the winch going overboard. He then was told to go to the sick-bay for treatment by a deck colleague who came to assist, and was subsequently medivaced to the beach for hospital treatment.

What Went Wrong?

Examination of the winch showed that the wire had not embedded itself in the wire turns on the drum and showed no signs of having been under stress.

The control levers were all functioning in the correct direction and the weld on the sea-fastenings were sound and in good order.

What had broken were the footings from the winch side plates. Examination showed that these had old cracks in them which had been filled with paint and both the inboard pair of footing showed that they had cracked right through some time in the past due to signs of corrosion in the metal and paint, which had leached through into the cracks. The two outer footings had evidently been able to withstand the stress of the load test but had given way once they were used again. Close examination showed that these also had old cracks in them and the bolts holding the footings of the winch onto the steel base plate were also cracked through.

Corrective actions and Recommendations

It became evident that the whole body of the winch needs to be carefully checked for cracks at regular intervals – not just at the points where it is sea-fastened.

Following this incident both winches have been removed from the vessel and are no longer retained for use by the Contractor.


16 March 2009

OGP Safety Incident Reports info.ogp.org.uk/safety/


London office: 209-215 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NL, UK 

Tel: +44 (0)20 7633 0272 Fax: +44 (0)20 7633 2350 www.ogp.org.uk

Brussels Office: Bd de Souverain, 165 4th floor, B-1160 Brussels, Belgium 

Tel: +32 (0) 02 566 9150 Fax: +32 566 9159


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.