Hatch Safety: Are You Keeping Your Employees Safe?


Falconer, 43, was employed as a seaman on a tugboat operated by maritime company. While carrying an engine part, he fell 14 feet through an open hatch in the engine room causing bodily injury. Falconer sued the maritime company alleging the company was negligent in failing to have safety rails around the hatch and failing to establish policies and procedures regarding working around open hatches. Specifically, Falconer asserted that the hatch opening should have been guarded at all times, but the safety rails could be inserted only when the hatch cover was off and had to be removed before putting the cover back on.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to avoid this type of situation:

  • Have I done a hazard assessment on existing hatches?
  • Have I asked employees what potential hazards exist in regards to hatch safety?
  • Have I encouraged a culture of hatch safety?
  • What type of hatch protection have I provided?

    (see KeeHatch Roof Hatch Safety Railing System)
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