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A summary of safety flash incidents not otherwise published in 2017

IMCA is grateful for all submissions of safety incidents for inclusion in Safety Flashes. During 2017, a number of incidents received by IMCA from members were not been published as Safety Flashes. A summary of these, as far as is appropriate, is included here.

  • 75% of the incidents were not published as having insufficient lessons learned or impact value to members, through lack of information supplied, lack of photographs or images, or lack of appropriate conclusions.
  • 16% of the incidents not published were because there was no approval response from the submitting IMCA member after several attempts over eight weeks.
  • Two incidents were not published because the submitting IMCA member opted to withhold permission to publish owing to changing local circumstances. These are omitted here.

The safety issues covered in the unpublished incidents are summarised here, in rough order of frequency of topic:

Damaged equipment (4 incidents)

  • Towing pennant for a rig parted: equipment failure owing to wear and tear;
  • Hydrostatic release unit malfunctioned on newly received life rafts following servicing;
  • Split pin of gog eye shackle sheared off during rig positioning;
  • Alternator bearing damaged during operations, causing some smoke.

Small boats, rescue boats, lifeboats and davits (4 incidents)

  • Crewman in small boat injured during single point mooring operations in heavy seas;
  • Near miss: crack discovered on buoyancy of small boat during operations;
  • Emergency release mechanism on lifeboat found to be inoperative;
  • During lowering of rescue boat, it tilted outward resulting in the canopy falling into the sea; it was found that the canopy was fixed to the main structure with adhesive only.

Mooring or anchor handling (3 incidents)

  • Anchor lost: inspection revealed that the locking part of the swivel at the anchor end had given way;
  • Use of heavily weighted “monkeys fists” prohibited as too heavy and likely to injure crew;
  • During anchor handling, the chaser ring parted and the anchor dropped from the stern roller to the sea bed.

Lifting operations

  • Generator frame and canopy door damaged whilst loading – poor lift plan, improper rigging, unplanned lift;
  • Container snagged by installation crane.

Falls from height

  • A shipyard worker stood on railings to get the job done, lost his balance and fell 5m, suffering a broken rib and hip fracture;
  • Near miss/safety observation: Engineer discovered using a wooden box instead of step ladder to work at height;

Slips and trips

  • Crewman injured when he slipped whilst descending stairs – sprained ankle;
  • Near miss/safety observation: tripping hazard on deck due to buckled deck timber.

Engine room issues

  • Lube oil leakage seen from main engine lube oil supply line. Inspection revealed that a gasket on lube oil flange had given way;
  • Fine fuel spray was seen from main engine fuel oil return line. Copper gasket of the end plug had a cut on the sealing surface.

Falling/dropped objects

  • A 5kg lamp tripod stand at the top of the main mast got uprooted and damaged an adjacent wind sensor before falling 10m. Cause: welds failed due to corrosion and vibration; improper inspection regime;
  • Near miss: a visual inspection of containers containing radioactive substances revealed a loose bolt for the door latch mechanism. The bolt could have fallen; radioactive sources could have potentially been ejected.

Hot work

  • Near miss/safety observation: While vessel was inside the 500m zone (safety zone), deck crew were observed performing chipping activities on main deck’s metal structures. Job stopped;
  • Near miss/safety observation: metal brush grinder being used for deck cleaning with no permit to work. Crew did not realise that any task leading to sparks is categorised as Hot Work. Job stopped.

Electrical issues

  • Hydraulic power pack circuit breaker tripped and power shut down occurred during subsea cold cutting operations. Cable replaced;
  • A semi-submersible pump caught fire after its cooling water supply was inadvertently switched off.

Hoses and bunkering

  • Bulk hose was drawn into the propeller and subsequently parted;

500m zone

  • 500m zone found to have many fishing boats in it when supply vessel was asked to approach the rig for unloading. Fishing gear caught in propeller of supply vessel.

Worker collapsed

  • A worker in a refinery collapsed due to high blood pressure, low blood sugar and hypertension.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Near miss/safety observation: Crewman found chipping paintwork whilst working over water without wearing a lifejacket and safety harness.

Safety Event

Published: 9 January 2018
Download: IMCA SF 01/18

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