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Crew member injured during ROV maintenance

A member has reported an injury incident which occurred during a major refit of a vessel-based work-class remotely operated vehicle (ROV) spread. An ROV pilot technician received an injury to the chin which subsequently required a total of six stitches.

The ROV crew was servicing the manipulator and had restrained the compensator spring and removed the bladder assembly. The perspex spring housing showed clear signs of contamination and it was decided to dismantle it further for cleaning purposes. The compensator spring housing was not user serviceable according to the Schilling maintenance manual. In attempting to remove the spring, the stored energy in the spring was instantly released in an uncontrolled manner and in the process the ROV technician sustained an impact injury to the chin.

Following investigation the following conclusions were drawn:

  • This was a high potential incident as the consequences of the uncontrolled energy release could have been much worse;
  • The instructions and warnings clearly stated in the manual were not followed;
  • Components with stored energy (mechanical and/or electrical) should always be treated with respect.

The company has recommended the following actions:

  • The removal of the compensator spring on these compensators is not a user serviceable task and units should be returned to the manufacturer’s approved agents for servicing;
  • Ensure sufficient spares are available on each ROV spread.
Schilling Titan 3 Manipulator: Compensator 101-4470
Schilling Titan 3 Manipulator: Compensator 101-4470

Safety Event

Published: 9 October 2008
Download: IMCA SF 15/08

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