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Fatal accident involving a horizontal watertight sliding door

We have been notified of a fatality on a vessel when a crew member became trapped between the door and door frame of an automatically actuated, horizontal water-tight sliding door and succumbed from his injuries as a consequence.

In conflict with the existing procedure the victim did not fully open the watertight door before passing through. By not opening the door fully but partly the victim put himself in a dangerous situation with no time to correct the situation safely.

This incident has highlighted the hazards involved with this type of door which, by necessity of their water tight functionality, are not provided with devices to prevent full closure in case of an obstruction being located between the door and the door frame.

The watertight doors were in accordance with the Rules of the Norwegian Maritime Directorate (NMD/MOU) as well as the IMO/SOLAS requirements and the instructions of the Flag State from Lloyds Register of Shipping.

The Operation Instructions of the watertight doors were posted on each watertight door.

It is recommended that the presence and functionality of this type of door and associated hazards be communicated to all personnel onboard vessels involved in offshore operations. There should be an adequate procedure for the operation and use of these doors and personnel should be instructed to strictly adhere to the procedure.

This is one of a number of reports we have recently received on incidents involving watertight doors. IMCA is currently collecting information from members on incidents and on appropriate legislation/guidance in this area and will disseminate further details in due course.

Safety Event

Published: 1 January 2001
Download: IMCA SF 01/01

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