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MSF: Foreign object in eye

What happened

The Marine Safety Forum reports in Safety Alert 21-20 that a worker got debris in his eye whilst paint chipping. A few hours after the job was completed, he reported a pain in his eye to the Master. Subsequent examination indicated that he had a small piece of debris in his left eye. Medical assistance was attempted onboard to flush the object out, but this was unsuccessful. The seafarer had to visit hospital to remove the object from his eye. He then returned to the vessel with no further treatment required.

What went wrong

The MSF’s member notes:

  • The seafarer was wearing safety glasses that were relevant to the routine maintenance task, however the change of task to chipping would have required a change of safety eyewear to googles.
  • Though the circumstances of the job changed, the job was not stopped nor appropriate risk assessment reviewed;
  • There was insufficient planning for the job and the risk assessment in use was generic without adequately addressing all hazards and controls. 

What was changed as a result?

  • All onboard Risk Assessments were reviewed to ensure that the correct eyewear is mentioned as per the company PPE requirements;
  • There was a renewed focus on eye safety;
  • Following review and discussion with the crew, better safety glasses – “Spoggles” – were sourced, which meet the requirement of safety glasses and safety googles.

Members may wish to refer to:

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