Cruise ship company fined for occupational safety breaches

Thursday 8 November 2012
Coral Princess Cruises has been fined $180,000 following the death of a crewman after he was trapped by a powered door while working on Oceanic Discoverer in 2009.
Media Release

The company was found to be non-compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety (Maritime Industry) Act 1993 in Cairns Magistrates Court on Tuesday 30 October.

It was also non-compliant with the Navigation Act 1912 and the Code of Safe Working Practice for Australian Seafarers.

The sentencing follows a three-year investigation by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which found the electronically powered water tight sliding door in the engine room which crushed the crewman did not meet international standards. AMSA also found the company failed to properly train crew members in correct use of the door.

The Oceanic Discoverer was at port in New Zealand when the incident occurred on 19 February 2009. The crewman was trapped by the powered door before electricity in the vessel was shut down and he was freed.

He died from his injuries three weeks later. In its submission to the court, AMSA proposed Coral Princess Cruises failed to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety at work of an employee.

As the ship’s operator, it also failed to comply with the door manufacturer’s requirements for inspection, maintenance and safety warnings and to incorporate these requirements in the Company Safety Management System.

AMSA welcomes this sentence and hopes vessel owners will ensure proper training and safety standards for their crews.