Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Near Misses

Both the captain and the company are very big on safety. The captain says they don't pay us enough to be losing limbs, and at $3.25 an hour, I am inclined to agree. Most of that is going slowly, communicating frequently, and wearing protective gear, but they also have a near miss reporting program, where they report something that was almost an accident just as they would a full accident.

About three weeks ago, before I got on, a GUDE was putting a mooring cable on a bollard while holding the eye instead of the little safety beckett that you are supposed to be holding and got a finger stuck between the wire and the steel bollard with the weight of a ship pulling on it. He is damned lucky he still has all his fingers and had to get off for a few days to get the bits that had partially come off sewn back on. He is back and mostly recovered now, but every single time as we get into a new port they remind us never to hold a line by the eye.

A few days ago I was pulling out wire from the winch in preparation for mooring when instead of feeding out, the wire began feeding up. So, like a damn fool, instead of letting go and shutting down the operation, which every single officer would have said was the correct thing to do, I started tugging real hard at it. I am lucky that when I fell on my stupid ass I fell on a part of the deck without obstructions, when I could have fallen overboard, or fallen on the nasty edges of the cargo hatches, or on any of the small bits and doodads around the deck, or just lost the contest entirely and had the automatic winch dislocate or break my arm. Bosun was really nice and didn't call me a dumbass, but he does explain everything related to winches very slowly before having me work with them now.

This is a dangerous job even for careful people and positively lethal for careless morons. That is why we get paid big money.

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