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Drill bit snapped: Finger injury sustained

What happened?

A crewman was in the process of using an electric drill to fix a broom head to a broom stick. The broom stick was held in the vice. The crewman was holding the drill with his right hand, and holding the broom head with his left. The drill bit snapped off which caused the drill to slip and as a result it penetrated the crewman’s safety gloves and came in contact with the nail of his left thumb. This slightly dislodged the nail from the thumb. The injury required first aid treatment only.

What were the causes of the incident?

The root causes identified by our member were misperception of risk and improper handling of tools. Appropriate precautions were not taken in proper work techniques. Even though the vice was used, he still held the job with one hand. This could have resulted in a more serious injury.

What lessons were learnt? And what were the actions?

  • Briefing and training sessions to be conducted for vessel crew regarding safe working practices with hand tools;
  • Greater involvement of vessel crew in identifying hazards and risks for each part of their job.

IMCA has published a short video and pocket card on hand safety:

Members may also wish to refer to the following incident:

Safety Event

Published: 2 June 2017
Download: IMCA SF 13/17

Relevant life-saving rules:
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