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Finger injury caused by incorrectly secured console cover

What happened?

An incorrectly secured console cover closed in an unplanned and unexpected way, trapping a crew member’s finger, which was injured.  After completing a task on a raised working platform a technician was coming down the steps back down to the deck level. To steady his descent, he placed his hand on the corner of a control console. The console cover dropped unexpectedly to its closed position trapping his smallest finger on his right hand between the console and the edge of the cover.  This guillotine action fractured his finger.

What were the causes? What went wrong?

  • The hinge was found to function correctly, as designed, but the wing nuts that secured the hinge in place had not been sufficiently tightened;
  • The console cover, possibly affected by weather or vessel movement, dropped at the same moment the injured persons finger was placed in the line of fire;
  • The design of the console weather cover hinge was completely reliant on correct wing nut tightening and requires an improved means of securing to avoid similar cover displacements;
  • Hinge mechanisms that do not lock automatically or “lock-safe”, introduce the risk of injury from unintentional or unexpected closing of the covers.


  • Reiterate the potential risks for injury from being “in the line of fire”;
  • Carry out a “Hazard Hunt” on your vessel to identify all hinged cover mechanisms that have the potential for repeating the incident outlined in this alert;
  • Install improved hinge locking arrangements wherever a significant risk of hand or finger injury is identified.

Members may wish to refer to

Safety Event

Published: 24 July 2020
Download: IMCA SF 22/20

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