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Care using hand tools

A recent incident has been reported to IMCA. Whilst we do not have details of injuries or damage, it involved a fairly standard operation in the engine room. An engineer was busy drilling holes in a pumping casing, using a high-powered drill machine, which he was using a rope to suspend and then holding by himself.

Causes given in the incident report were:

  • A drill too powerful to be operated by a single person
  • Limited space to operate
  • Poor communication between engineer and his helper

Corrective action prescribed by the company to all of its vessels is:

  • Heavy hand tools to be operated by at least two operators or other measures to be taken to make their use safer
  • Choose the type of tool to match the job that needs to be done
  • If necessary carry out a job safety analysis and do a toolbox talk before starting a job.

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.