PILBARA Ports have issued a safety warning to vessels using the ports of Dampier and Ashburton after several recent incidents of unsecured hatches.

Harbour Master Captain Mike Minogue said there had been several recent incidents related to unsecured hatches in tent positions and in some case cases people had been seen leaning over hatch coamings while hatches were in tent position.

“Investigations show that these incidents were caused by a lack of supervision, awareness of safety requirements and inadequate securing of hatches,” a notice issued by Pilbara Ports said.

“Unsecured or incorrectly secured hatches can have serious consequences, including the possibility of severe injuries or the loss of life for personnel working on or near hatches.”

The report went on to say all vessels calling the Port of Dampier must comply with the following requirements: that foldable hatches must be either fully open or closed, unless vessels have type specific securing devices allowing hatches to be secured in tent position as per hatch makers recommendations.

It also says when foldable hatches are fully opened, the hatches must be secured with a safety hook or pin before power is switched off to prevent single point failure.