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Workshop finger injury

A member has reported the following incident. A senior mechanical technician was involved in bleeding a hydraulic hose connected between an A-frame and a pump unit. The coupling was loosened such as to allow the air to be vented from it. When the hydraulic fluid started to be ejected from the coupling which he was holding, and although he knew that the fluid could also emerge under pressure from a bleed hole on the side of the fitting, he somehow allowed his finger to come into contact with the fluid under pressure. His finger was subsequently injured which required hospital treatment.

The investigation conducted by the company’s workshop HSE advisor identified the following causes:

  • The procedure and risk assessment for this task was generic and did not address the specific issue;
  • There were no controls in place in the workshop for this type of activity.

As a result the following actions have been taken by the company involved:

  • An instruction has been issued to workshop personnel to ensure that hoses being bled are not handled but are mechanically restrained; . Awareness sessions have been instigated to highlight the incident with the hydraulics personnel; . Review of workshop risk assessments has been started to identify suitability and adequacy for the range of work being undertaken;
  • Senior Mech. Technician, Workshop Manager and Electrical Supervisor are tasked to identify and develop procedures to control this type of activity in the future.

This issue again shows how a momentary lapse in concentration can lead to injury but also highlighted the need for more rigorous controls on such activities.

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