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Near-miss: Modification of machinery

A member has advised of the following near miss. A mechanic was working on a jet pump when a bracket holding the jet hose failed. The bracket was being used to rack jet hose. When falling, the hose could potentially have struck the mechanic and caused injury. Fortunately it did not.

Investigation showed that the bracket had been welded to the jet pump in the field and appeared to have failed upon the equipment returning from a project.

The company has noted the following:

  • Welding or cutting reduces the designed strength of a frame and can causing lifting points and/or the frame to fail during lifting options;
  • Any modifications to standard-configuration equipment needed ‘in the field’ should be considered using the company’s management of change procedure prior to them being carried out;
  • Any such modifications will only be made after completion and approval of the management of change process, involving rotating stock and safety personnel;
  • Any such modifications, if approved, should only be carried out by an appropriately certified welder;
  • No modifications should be made which bypass or override any safety device under any circumstance.

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