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Sharp wire: injury during routine maintenance

What happened?

Whilst conducting routine engine maintenance a seafarer caught his arm on a sharp piece of wire, causing the need for medical treatment.  The seafarer was using a spanner to tighten bolts connected to the main engine exhaust system where a piece of sharp reinforcing wire was protruding from some nearby flexible hose.  The spanner slipped, causing the seafarers arm to forcefully come into contact with the wire resulting in a cut requiring medical treatment.

The seafarer visited a shore-side hospital for medical treatment.  After receiving stitches, he was able to return to work.

What was the cause?

The sharp reinforcing wire was sticking out and should not have been.

What lessons were learned?

Before conducting the routine maintenance, a simple check would have highlighted the sharp wire.  The seafarer could then have either removed the wire or, if not possible, bent it back or covered it so as not to cause any harm.

This highlights the need for thorough pre-maintenance checks to prevent or control the potential for unnecessary maintenance related injury.

Members may wish to refer to these injuries with the same immediate cause – unexpected, undetected and inappropriate sharp edges in the workplace:

Safety Event

Published: 18 December 2018
Download: IMCA SF 28/18

Relevant life-saving rules:
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