On 3 April 2019, the bulk carrier MV Medi Zuoz dropped anchor at number one anchorage area at Iskenderun, Turkey (TK), after having discharged mixed metal scrap at Iskenderun port.
A cleaning team boarded the ship to clean all the cargo holds before the vessel was scheduled to continue its voyage to the next loading port. The company executing the cargo hold cleaning used two scaffolding towers (5 ‘lifts’) to reach the upper parts of the holds during the cleaning process.
The next day, on 4 April 2019, the hold cleaning was continued and the assembled scaffolding tower was to be moved as a whole from one cargo hold to the next by crane with the ropes connected to lift the tower. After the scaffolding tower was lifted, the deck crew noticed that the structure appeared to be unstable and the tower was put back on the tank top.
A shore contract worker climbed up the scaffolding tower to properly attach the ropes to the crane so that the tower could eventually be moved to the next hold. While climbing up the scaffolding tower, the unsecured contract worker lost balance, fell on the tank top and was seriously injured. It was later established that one of the two ropes used to connect the tower to the crane hook had broken.
The accident was immediately reported and emergency actions taken to transfer the injured worker to shore and hospital. The worker was declared dead at a nearby hospital.
Based on the findings of the safety investigation, two recommendations were issued by the AET.