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Small fire following hot work

What happened

On a member’s vessel alongside, a small fire started following hot work conducted by the client’s welding sub-contractors. The incident occurred during the welding of jumper stands on the main deck. After completing their work, the welders left the vessel without notifying the bridge, and the Permit to Work was closed. Shortly thereafter, an AB discovered smoke coming from a rag left over the welded area. The small fire was extinguished with a bucket of water. There was no damage to equipment, no consequences, and no-one was harmed.

Smouldering rag was found at place marked by red ring

What went wrong

  • There was inadequate communication between the third-party welders and the vessel crew;
  • There was no joint inspection (by vessel crew and third-party welders) of the work before the welders left the vessel and the Permit to Work was closed;
  • There was no fire watch.

What went right

  • There was a Permit to Work for the operation;
  • The small fire was discovered by an observant AB and was easily extinguished.

Lessons learned

  • Closer liaison with third-party contractors to ensure understanding of requirements for
    • Monitoring of work;
    • Opening and closing of Permits to Work.
  • Ensure joint inspection and agreed acceptance of work done by third-party contractors before allowing them to leave or closing Permits to Work;
  • Ensure fire watches are set.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 18 January 2023
Download: IMCA SF 03/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
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