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Serious incident while checking man-overboard and buoy smoke marker

A member has informed us of a serious incident that occurred when a person was injured while checking the service date on one of the man-overboard and buoy smoke marker units.

The injured person placed his right hand on top of the smoke marker as located on the vessel’s railings and, as he bent over the device, it ignited and the canister burst. The injured person was struck in the chest, face and hand with burning powder and was thrown backwards off his feet by the force of the impact.

The injuries sustained were: bruised right hand and small lacerations on the right hand, small burn on the left cheek, small burn on the right hand and slight bruising to the cheek. The injured person was wearing normal personal protective equipment (PPE), which included flame retardant coveralls and safety glasses, which significantly contributed to protecting him from more serious injury.

The company involved has carried out the following actions as a result of the incident: the manufacturer has been informed and has reviewed the systems employed in the device and cannot determine the cause. The manufacturer is confident that the systems incorporate stringent tests and standards to such devices that they stated that they consider external influences contributed to the incident. These influences have not been determined and dialogue with the manufacturer continues.

The company involved has instructed its personnel that if anyone needs to check the service details of such equipment, they should not lean over or lean on the equipment. Full PPE should be worn, which includes full face visor over safety glasses.

Safety Event

Published: 2 October 2001
Download: IMCA SF 12/01

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