An incident has been reported to IMCA in which an ROV pilot working on an umbilical tether was injured by a shard of fibre optic material. Work was being conducted in a workshop on the umbilical tether of an ROV. Measurements and repairs were being undertaken on the fibre optic cables inside the tether. The pilot leaned forward, close to the fibres, and one of the fibre-optic cable ends pierced his skin at the shoulder and broke off.
Approximately 12mm of glass fibre entered the skin of his left shoulder at an angle and was just under the surface of the skin.
The pilot was treated by a doctor and went ashore for further examination. Vessel operations were stood down and a ‘time-out for safety’ was undertaken.
Investigation revealed that there was a lack of awareness of the danger caused by sharp fibre-optic cable ends and consequent at-risk behaviour.
IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.
IMCA’s store terms and conditions (https://www.imca-int.com/legal-notices/terms/) apply to all downloads from IMCA’s website, including this document.
IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.