We have recently seen an alarming increase in the number of High Potential (HiPo) Near Miss reports related to poor preparation of helicopter landing areas. Most cases have involved loose items of equipment, in particular slack (unpressurised) fire hoses.
Loose items of equipment and slack (unpressurised) fire hoses will move around in an unpredictable manner when exposed to helicopter down-wash, seriously compromising safe helicopter operations by introducing a very high risk of impact with the helicopter.Read more
If loose items and slack fire hoses are observed by the helicopter pilot the landing will be aborted.
Any reports related to loose equipment and slack fire hoses will be treated as High Potential Occurrences (HiPo) by RightShip. As a result, the vessel will not be recommendable to customers until the incident has been properly investigated with corrective and preventative actions found acceptable to both RightShip and any associated stakeholders (i.e. Charterers, Terminals, Port Authorities).
Clear non-compliance with the ICS Guide to Helicopter / Ship Operations and a failure to conduct a Tool-Box Talk are the principle causes, along with a failure to fully identify, appreciate and risk assess the associated hazards.
Fully implement ‘Pre-arrival Checks on the Ship’ as documented in ICS Guide to Helicopter/Ship Operations
In particular from Chapter 18.104.22.168:
Whilst not specifically stated, Fire Hoses must be charged or pressurised to ensure they are ready for immediate use and do not pose a hazard as a loose item.
Fire Hose fully ready for use = Fire pump running > Hose connected > Hydrant open > Fire hose purged of air/full of water > Nozzle closed