A member has reported an incident in which a crewman on a dive support vessel suffered a serious laceration to one of the fingers of his left hand. The incident occurred when deck crew were engaged in opening the aft bell moon pool door prior to diving operations.
During this operation, it was normal practice for a member of the deck crew to use his foot to hold open the spring-loaded retaining hook for the aft bell moon pool door. However, after three failed attempts to hold the retaining hook with his foot, a crewman decided to use his hand instead. Whilst doing this, the hook slipped and the injured person’s hand was caught between the hook and the edge of the moon pool door. One of the fingers on the injured person’s hand was badly cut as a result. The location and depth of the laceration was such that it had to be treated ashore to minimise risk of infection. The injury was X-rayed and redressed and the injured person was away from work for a week.
An investigation revealed the following:
- The immediate cause of the incident was that the securing hook was too stiff to be held open by foot;
- The root cause was that the old spring had recently been changed out and a new one fitted to the securing hook, which made it too stiff to operate. The potential problems this change introduced were not noticed, highlighted or addressed before operations restarted.
The following action was taken:
- The hook was modified to remove the need for hands to be in close proximity of the locking clamp. A hole was drilled in the clamp and rope attached to facilitate safe operation. Future operators will pull to release the hatch to open, thereby encouraging a hands free approach.
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