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LTI: finger injury during davit test

What happened

A worker suffered a serious finger injury when his hand got caught between a painter rope under tension and the handrail. The incident occurred during testing of the rescue boat davit. He was holding the painter line, which was hitched to the handrail, coiled around his right hand. During the test, the winch brake system failed. This caused the FRC to fall. The crew members’ hand was stuck between the painter rope and the handrail. He suffered serious lacerations and compound fractures to his baby finger. The FRC was damaged.

What went wrong

  • The brake failed causing the FRC to fall. This was not anticipated;
  • The injured person coiled the painter line around his hand, and was not wearing appropriate safety gloves;
  • The crew members involved in the task were unaware of the risks involved and did not even fully understand the aim of the operation;
  • The person in charge did not appropriately supervise the operation. The toolbox talk did not communicate sufficient information.

Lessons learned

  • Be aware of the risks around you – stay out of the “bight” of ropes that might come under tension;
  • Don’t wind ropes around your hand if they could come under tension;
  • Understand what is happening around you. What are the hazards of the task you are doing?
  • Wear appropriate PPE.

Our member went on to ensure that there were specific launch and test procedures for the FRC, and investigated the failure of the brake.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 18 January 2023
Download: IMCA SF 03/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
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