||Issue No. 167||21 February 2003|
Scales of Injustice
Interview: Agenda 2003
Peace: The Colour Purple
Industrial: Long, Hot Summer
Solidarity: Workers Against War
Security: Howard And The Hoodlums
International: Industrial Warfare
History: Unions and the Vietnam War
Review: Eight Miles to Mowtown
Poetry: Return To Sender
Satire: CIA Recruits New Intake of Future Enemies
The Locker Room
Who Let The Troops Out?
Wagga Wagga Calling
Ode to Johnny
Overworked Seaman’s Painful Hangover
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Marine Safety Investigation report, blamed chronic fatigue and systems failure for an accident that left a Ukranian seaman in hospital with a fractured pelvis, broken vertebra and ribs, a dislocated hip and groin damage, after being trapped in moving equipment, off Melbourne, on February 18.
The accident report described the workload of the mate and deck mechanic on the Bahamas-flagged ship as "excessive", saying records revealed the mate had done 17 and 18 hour days while the vessel was in port and had been on duty for 80 hours over the five days preceding the accident.
Software developed in conjunction with the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia suggested the mate's "fatigue rating" was equal to that of someone with blood alcohol levels above 0.05 percent.
The report, released this week, found a "significant failure of the safety management system" on a vessel that has been at the centre of a high-profile dispute between maritime unions, the federal government and CSL.
In a rebuff to Flag of Convenience shipping, it contrasted those conditions with the vessel's safety system and record while it was Australian flagged and crewed.
"Put simply, when things went haywire, the crew might as well have been drunk," MUA national secretary, Paddy Crumlin, said. "Fundamental safe work practices, like shutting down equipment and locking controls before sending in a worker to weld, were ignored.
"Even more outrageous is that, after the accident, the Government failed to cancel the vessel's permit to trade on our coast in contravention of its own guidelines."
CSL provoked a storm of protest when it reflagged the former Australian National Line vessel in 2000 then replaced its crew with lower-paid Ukranians.
The Pacific works the Australian coast, outside the reach of Australian labour and commercial regulations, under a special permit issued by Transport Minister John Anderson.
The ship was diverted to Portland, last month, after workmates heard the injured crewman screaming in pain and freed him from mechanical equipment.
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