During a washdown of a vessel’s cargo hold a crew member noticed arcing from around two electrical cables near the cargo hold light. Upon closer investigation he noticed a piece of tie wire connected to the cables was glowing red. The crew member immediately stopped hosing down and turned the water supply off and notified the ship’s electrician.
What were the causes
The outer insulation of the cabling was damaged. The cable insulation had deteriorated due to age and weathering, exposing the live wire. The location of the cable was such that it was not easily accessed for detailed visual inspection.
- Visual inspection of all electrical cables for early signs of aging and weathering, particularly in difficult to see areas.
IMCA notes that neglected exposed mains cabling is a surprisingly common high potential issue, in an area – electrical safety – that ought to be a good deal more tightly controlled.
Consider the following:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
IMCA’s store terms and conditions (https://www.imca-int.com/legal-notices/terms/) apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.
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.