A UK marine aggregate dredger was undergoing a routine repair stop. A Permit to Work was raised to allow access to the cargo hold for repair yard employees, the cargo hold was cleared, and the gangway was slung for lifting out. The two employees exited the cargo hold via the gangway and immediately started to dismantle the handrails around the cargo hold access at the aft side of the scaffolding tower.
The Permit to Work did not cover the removing of the scaffolding, employees were not certified scaffolders and they were not wearing safety harnesses. As a result of the handrails being removed, they had exposed themselves to a 10m fall into the bottom of the cargo hold. The vessels Safety Officer intervened, stopped the job and removed the employees from the vessel.