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Importance of safety by design: acoustic beacon damage in splash zone

What happened

During recovery of tugger winches on an A-frame workstation, the headache ball experienced normal movement when exiting the splash zone.  However, in this instance, the headache ball came into contact with the vessel fender and damaged an acoustic beacon.  The damaged beacon was taken out of service and repair arranged.

Location of fender in relation to beacon on the Headache Ball
A-Frame Workstation

What went wrong?

  • The damage occurred with normal perpendicular movement of the headache ball as it went through the splash zone;
  • The A-frame, due to its height, did not allow the outboarding of a load far enough away from the vessel hull;
  • This was a known hazard associated with vessel design, however team onboard had previously worked around the problem during equipment overboarding and recovery.

The actions were:

  • Design and install a protective cage for the acoustic beacon;
  • Undertake a full design review with a focus on the Tooling Skid and associated tasks and systems, and also a review of the design of the A-Frame.
    • A-frame design modifications implemented, to extend the reach and keep the load away from vessel hull during overboarding and recovery.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 9 December 2021
Download: IMCA SF 34/21

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