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Accidental activation of expired pyrotechnics (hand flare)

What happened?

During a vessel dry dock, smoke was observed coming from a forepeak store, which was also accessible from the mess room. Expired hand flare pyrotechnics, boxed and packed up for landing ashore, had been accidentally activated by yard personnel on board for cleaning and chipping the chain locker.

The alarm was raised and the necessary steps were taken for the safety of the crew and yard personnel.

What went wrong? What were the causes?

  • Procedures were not followed:
    • the third-party contractor personnel had been briefed regarding the company’s safety management system (SMS) but this incident still took place
    • where third-party personnel are working, the area should be thoroughly checked for any unsafe practices that can take place.

What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?

  • It was noted that since the forepeak store was also a provision store with access from the mess room, the risk of theft or pilferage could not be neglected;
  • The expired pyrotechnics were sent back to the approved vendor.

Members may wish to look at the following incidents:

Safety Event

Published: 9 July 2018
Download: IMCA SF 14/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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