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MSF: Hand Injury Sustained During Routine Checks

The Marine Safety Forum (MSF) has published Safety Alert 21-13 relating to a hand injury sustained during routine activities.

What happened?

During routine weekly checks, someone was performing tests for the emergency generator. The MSF reports that he approached the generator to investigate an abnormal noise coming from the cooling fan, and his fingers were struck by the fan blades, and he sustained an injury to three of the fingers on his right hand.

Why did it happen?

The MSF’s correspondent notes the following:

  • Unsafe, complacent behaviour;
  • Lack of situational awareness – he placed his hands in an area with a partly exposed rotating part;
  • The injured person was working alone;
  • The fan was partly unprotected.

Actions and lessons learned

  • Modifications were made to the fan guard of the emergency generator to avoid any possibility of touching the fan – and warning signs were posted;
  • Further training for crew in “Situational Awareness”;
  • A fresh look at hand safety in general:
    • Always be aware of where your hands are at all times;
    • Always wear the appropriate PPE (including the right gloves for the job);
    • Always identify all potential hand hazards (i.e., line of fire, pinch points) and take the appropriate mitigating steps during the planning stage of a job;
    • Always use Risk Assessment and Toolbox Talk as appropriate in all tasks, whether formal or informal;
    • Risk Assessment should be specific and identify the hazards and the Toolbox Talk should include discussion of the task at hand with those involved;
    • If you don’t understand, ASK!! Don’t start the job, however simple or complex, unless you understand what you are supposed to be doing.

Please STOP and think!! Watch your hands – you’ve only got one set!!

Members may wish to review:

Safety Event

Published: 22 September 2021
Download: IMCA SF 26/21

Relevant life-saving rules:
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