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Line of fire: pinched finger between door and frame

What happened

An ROV operator suffered a serious injury, after their finger was pinched between the door frame of an ROV control van and the door as it swung closed.  The ROV operator was returning to the work area after lunch and made his way to the ROV control van to speak with the supervisor.  He opened the door outwards and rested his left hand on door frame as he moved his body inside the control van.  The door swung closed, resulting in the door pinching  his left index finger against the door frame.  He automatically moved his hand away on impact which caused a laceration injury to the fingertip that required a medivac and reconstructive surgery.

What went wrong?

Investigation found that:

  • The spring device mechanism to control the speed at which the door closed was faulty and had not been repaired.  The ROV team had not identified this hazard nor corrected it before the incident;
  • There was a lack of situational awareness in that the ROV operator left his hand in the line of fire;
  • The induction/familiarization process had not been effective in identifying hazards associated with the work area;
  • This was the first day of the trip for the ROV operator; he had two months experience on the vessel.


  • Ensure that such doors (in this case, to ROV control vans) are fitted with a functioning spring device mechanism to control the speed at which the door closes;
  • Ensure these door closing spring device mechanisms are included in the planned maintenance system, and subject to regular inspection;
  • Ensure there is suitable induction / familiarization process on site, to safely integrate new workers, and provide them with mentoring and effective supervision.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 11 March 2022
Download: IMCA SF 06/22

Relevant life-saving rules:
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