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Measures to protect the vessel side against stevedores injury - Confirmation Statement

Responsibility For Stevedores : While the primary responsibility for stevedores rests with the stevedoring company, the ship owner may be held liable should due care not be exercised and any accident subsequently occur on the vessel. Accordingly, the Master and deck officers have a responsibility to ensure that the following points are always addressed:

• Duty of Condition: The vessel must exercise ordinary care under the circumstances to have the ship and its equipment in such a condition that an expert and experienced stevedore will be able, by the exercise of reasonable care, to carry on its cargo operations with reasonable safety to persons and property.

• Duty to Warn: The vessel must warn the stevedore of any hazards on the ship, or with respect to her equipment, that are known to the vessel or should have been known in the exercise of reasonable care, that would likely be encountered by the stevedore in the course of his cargo operations and that are not known by the stevedore and would not be obvious to or anticipated by him if reasonably competent in the performance of his work.

• Active Involvement Duty: The vessel may be liable if it actively involves itself in the cargo operations and negligently injures a stevedore.

• Active Control Duty: The vessel may be liable if it fails to actively exercise due care to avoid exposing stevedores to harm from hazards that they may encounter in areas, or from equipment, under the active control of the vessel during the stevedore operation, such as the gangway.

• Duty to Intervene: If a stevedore’s judgment is obviously improvident, if the ship knew of the defect in the equipment, and the stevedore continues to use the defective equipment, and the ship should have realized that the use of the defective equipment presented an unreasonable risk of harm, the vessel has a duty to intervene and have the equipment repaired.

The above points are extracted in part from United States law, however are valid for all countries and should be adopted as good practice regardless of where the vessel is trading. In addition, the following points are to be considered as best practice and are also to be followed:

• Inspect and test any equipment that is to be used by stevedores prior to use and make a log entry.

• The officer of the watch must perform frequent rounds of the vessel during cargo operations looking out for any new hazards or unsafe operations. Notes should be taken and recorded in the deck log where applicable. A digital camera should be carried in order to take any photographic evidence of anything amiss.

• As per the procedures contained in the Ship Security Plan, an alert and well-trained gangway watch must be maintained and notes made of any unusual activity as well as reporting same to the officer of the watch. The gangway log must be properly maintained that records all names and company of persons coming on board and leaving the vessel.

• If any dangerous working practices by the stevedores are noticed, then the stevedoring company must be notified, directly if possible, or through the agent.

• In any circumstances where a stevedore suffers or allegedly suffers an accident or injury while onboard, the incident must be reported immediately to the company and to the local P&I representative so that steps can be taken to protect the interests of the vessel and her crew and mitigate any potential losses. This should certainly be done prior to the ship sailing and before any crew change takes place.

Measures to protect the vessel side against stevedores injury - Confirmation Statement

Confirmation By Document

The Master shall prepare a statement of fact in which necessary matters are written referring to the attached form , obtain signature of the responsible stevedoring person and agent, and hand over copies to them and the P&I representative.

Handling Personal Injury Report from the Other Party

When the Master is demanded to receive and to sign an injury report from an injured person or a stevedore company, and if the contents of the report are different from the facts confirmed by the vessel, or if the report indicates that the vessel is responsible, the vessel shall reject receipt of the report.

Note : If, for any reason, the Master cannot reject the receipt of a report, the following sentence shall be added to the report to clarify that signing and receiving it does not imply any admission of liability of the vessel side written in the report.
I received your Injury Report without prejudice; or
This signature does not mean any admission of liability.

Recording And Reporting

Entry in the Deck Log Book

The Master shall enter the fact of the accident, the name and contact details of any eyewitnesses, and other necessary matters in the deck log book, and it shall be approved by the P&I attorney when he visits the vessel.

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