American Club Member Alert (March 9, 2020) – Re- American Pilots’ Association Request – Dangerous Trapdoors
MARCH 9, 2020
AMERICAN PILOTS’ ASSOCIATION REQUEST – DANGEROUS TRAPDOORS
Following the tragic fall of a New York pilot on December 30th, the American Pilots’ Association, (APA), has released a notice to the maritime community advising of the dangers of some accommodation ladder/ pilot ladder combination arrangements with integrated embarking platforms. Also known as “sloping ladders”, these arrangements include a pilot ladder hanging from a cross beam near the bottom of a platform and require pilots to pull themselves up through a trapdoor while twisting to obtain a secure footing on the platform.
There are serious concerns among pilots regarding these platforms due to the multitude of potential non-compliances intrinsic to such arrangements. A commonly observed non-compliance arises where the pilot ladder steps are not properly extending through the trap door and above the platform causing uneven step heights which entail a difficult physical maneuver for pilots.
Members are encouraged to review the notice entitled A Request from the American Pilots’ Association to State Pilotage Authorities Regarding Pilot Safety and ensure their vessels’ pilot transfer arrangements are in compliance with IMO standards.
The APA also welcomes suggestions for alternative methods or strategies for improving this area of, or any situation jeopardizing, pilot safety. Members may also refer to Every Step Matters – Pilot Ladder Boarding Safety guidance which can be found on the Club’s website at: