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Diver Finger Injury – Scrubber Blower Fan

What happened

A diver suffered a minor hand injury when he put his hand on part of a fan which should not have been exposed. The incident occurred on a vessel carrying out mobilization; a diver was in the starboard bell carrying out bell checks. He placed his hand on the soda sorb fan motor housing (scrubber).  The fan motor was running to improve air flow through the bell. There was no soda sorb canister attached leaving a small exposure point to the fan which nipped his thumb causing a small injury.

What went wrong

  • Fan not switched off;
  • Risk assessment did not include hazard posed by the rotating fan, nor the requirement to switch off the fan when the canister was removed.

What our member did next

  • Reviewed equipment design: considered adding a guard (seen as undesirable as this would restrict gas flow) or altering the design to include an automatic cut off (this may fail);
  • Updated appropriate company risk assessment to include requirement to switch off the fan when the canister was removed during bell entry;
  • Appropriate signs or labels were also considered.

Another solution may be to fit an empty cannister to the fan. This would protect the diver’s fingers from the fan while not wasting any CO2 absorbent. 

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 3 October 2022
Download: IMCA SF 22/22

Relevant life-saving rules:
IMCA Safety Flashes
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