LTI – Hand injury whilst resetting mooring hook


During an evening mooring operation, a Svitzer liner handler suffered a crush injury resulting in a fracture to the hand, sustained due to getting his hand caught in the mooring hook. 

What Happened:

The IP arrived onsite (which was insufficiently lit) and tested the functionality of the mooring hooks by shaking them. Once the inboard stern lines of the assisted vessel were connected to the hook and the vessel started applying tension the hook malfunctioned, and the mooring lines fell to the water. In order to reset the hook, the IP crouched by the hook placing one hand below the hook and the other on the nose of the hook in order to lift it back into position, not aware that the hook keeper was in “locked position”, hence as he lifted the hook, he caught his hand between the nose and keeper.


  • The IP failed to recognize the hazard of lifting the keeper before resetting the hook
  • The IP did not use the take 5 assessment following a change of circumstances
  • The IP lacked specific knowledge on hook operation
  • The port did not involve Svitzer during the design or installation of new mooring hooks
  • The port did not develop a procedure or instruction manual for hook operation
  • The worksite was not safely illuminated due to inadequate lighting arrangements and broken lights

Corrective / Preventive measures:

  • When new equipment / operational procedures are introduced – Ensure MOC procedure is completed including creation of operational instructions, further ensure all relevant personnel are familiarized
  • Ensure all worksites are sufficiently illuminated
  • When encountering an abnormality or change of operational practice – Take 5 and re-evaluate the situation and associated hazards
  • If in doubt or if any of above measures are not in place – Use stop work authority