Correct Usage of Rope Swings
Every year injuries to employees occur while being transported to and from an oil platform. A great number of these accidents happen during the transfer to or from the platform, and on or off the crew boat. In most cases, transfer is done by the use of the rope swing. Here are some safety tips to remember when using the rope swing.
Prepare for the Swing:
- The rope should have three knots spaced 4, 6 and 8 feet above the walking surface. You should grab the knotted rope high enough to clear the catwalk on the platform when the boat is on top of a swell. In most cases, grab the rope just above the middle knot or at eye level.
- Fasten your floatation vest all the way, making sure it fits snugly. If you should fall in without it fastened, the vest may float, but you may slip out while thrashing around and sink.
- A deck hand should always be available to assist in the transfer. Never transfer alone.
- Swing only when you are ready. Never let the boat captain, deck hand or other personnel influence your decision or rush you.
Swinging from Boat to Platform:
- Do not swing with extra weight or materials. Pass your baggage/items over first. If the material is heavy or bulky, do not try to pass it over. Use the crane.
- Just as the boat dips down from the highest point of the wave, swing to the platform by pushing off the boat with your feet. Do NOT jump or step.
- Do not let the rope get between your legs as it might interfere with your landing.
Use Only Clear Landings:
- Upon landing, release the rope for the next person. Be alert and assist that person in making a safe transfer.
- Keep feet and legs clear of the boat bumper to assure they are not smashed between the bumper and platform.
Swinging from Platform to Boat:
- The procedure is reversed when swinging from fixed platform to the moving vessel. During this procedure, start the swing as the boat is beginning to rise from the bottom of the wave.
- Time your swing so your feet can land on the boat deck as it completes its rise.
- If your timing is off and you miss the boat, do not let go of the rope. Continue your swing and you will automatically swing back to the catwalk.
- Once you land, establish your timing and try again.
Take Your Time:
- If you feel you cannot transfer safely, DON’T!
- Remember, you can’t do your work if you don’t get to and from your job safely.