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Equipment damage – dropped ROV/tether management system (TMS)

A member has reported an incident in which an ROV was dropped to the deck from between 1.5m (metres) and 2.0m, resulting in significant damage. The work-class ROV was being launched via the launch and recovery system (LARS) A-frame when the LARS operator failed to recognise that both latches were not engaged. Visual inspection had only been conducted on the aft latch. The umbilical was not managed effectively resulting in unnecessary slack which allowed the system to fall the 1.5-2m to deck.

The following corrective actions were taken and a number of recommendations were made:

  • As an interim measure, an audible alarm indicator was installed to confirm and notify that the latch mechanism has been engaged. This alarm sounds for 7 seconds;
  • Markers were painted on each latch to clearly identify the latch position;
  • Cameras were installed to view the latch position;
  • Additional communication checks were implemented and recorded;
  • Task job safety analysis (JSA) was updated to reflect additional control requirements.

The following further preventative actions were undertaken:

  • An engineering review of this particular system to include development of an interlock system that would prevent over boarding or recovery of ROV unless the latch mechanism was engaged;
  • An engineering review of all ROV LARS operations within the company to identify opportunity for improvement and potential hazard impacts.

Safety Event

Published: 27 October 2011
Download: IMCA SF 11/11

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