<B>COMMERCIAL NEWS</B> - Cruise-ship company fined for occupational safety breaches

COMMERCIAL NEWS - Cruise-ship company fined following death of seaman

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 the Oceanic Discoverer in 2009.

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

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 watertight sliding door in the engineroom that crushed the crewman did not meet international standards.

AMSA also found the company failed to properly train crewmembers in correct use of the door.

The Oceanic Discoverer was at port in New Zealand when the incident occurred on February 19, 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 said it welcomes this sentence and hopes vessel owners will ensure proper training and safety standards for their crews.