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ROV pilot injured by fibre optic glass

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.

Fibre optic material that caused the injury
Fibre optic material that caused the injury

Safety Event

Published: 25 February 2008
Download: IMCA SF 03/08

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