Safety is alwayed emphasized for pilot ladder preparations, especially when installing combination types, and guidelines and procedures are well setup for compliance for wearing safety gears such as safe line, life jacket, etc. On the other hand, there is a common misunderstanding that it is relatively safer when using side shell hatch door that safety gears are not properly worn which leads to more serious casualties when accidents happen.
According to Marine Safety Alert issued by USCG recently, there was an accident that crews were swept overboard and missing due to strong wave as they opened a side shell hatch door without considering risk factors. Under such system duty personnel should have commicated with the operators to give sufficient warning on the surrounding environments make them wear safety gears.
To prevent such accidents, it is recommended to review vessel's safety management system, procedures and guidelines for latest updates to suit the vessel's system/equipments. For operations that may disclose crews to weather such as wind, wave, etc., risk should be evaluated in advance so that personal protective gears and safety equipments are in use.
For more information, refer to the attached Marine Safety Alert.