After completion of the grouting operation for an offshore wind farm transition piece, the sub-contract grouting team began cleaning their equipment using high pressure water jets. During this cleaning operation, one member of the team received first degree burns to his two knees and left calf. The team member suffered burns in three places and minor irritation spots elsewhere. The burns were treatable on board and had completely healed after three weeks.
What went wrong?
The investigation discovered that the person who was affected, had grouting dust on his coveralls when he started working with the water jet. Whilst he was using the water jet he got soaked to the skin with the water, and this water mixed with the grouting dust to make a corrosive solution which burnt his skin.
What was the cause?
Our member considers that the root cause of this unfortunate incident was that the Safety Data Sheet for the grout lacked any information regarding the hazard of the grout dust mixing with water and becoming corrosive. This lack of hazard identification resulted in no risk mitigation measures being introduced to the risk assessment.
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