Mar 172015
 
capstan

Ensure that the safe working load, SWL, of a capstan is greater than the rated pull of the capstan, says a safety alert from the International Marine Contractors Association, IMCA, following an incident aboard one of its members’ vessels. If the capstan does not stall before the wire fails the resulting parting of the wires can cause horrifying injuries.

Due to the company’s clear deck policy nobody was at risk but similar policies may not be in force, or practical, under other circumstances.

Says the IMCA:

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Mar 162015
 
insignia

Investigations into the 11 December 2014 engine room fire aboard Oceania Insignia continue into the engine room fire aboard the cruiseship Oceania Insignia which cost three lives but the US Coast Guard has already issued a safety alert. It highlights maintenance issues and the important of having a personal evacuation plan.

Marshall Islands-flagged, the 50,000 gt Insignia was built in 1998. The vessel was refurbished in 2014 and, says Oceania: “has undergone a multimillion-dollar transformation to create a virtually new ship”.

Says the USCG safety alert:

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Feb 132015
 
teatowels

Everyone knows, or should know, that rags contaminated with certain types of oil can self-ignite,or spontaneously combust, in places like waste bins but freshly-laundered tea-towels can also do so and lead to a galley fire warns a safety alert from Marine Safety Forum.

A night watchman on a vessel was carrying out his usual tasks and after washing the galley tea towels, they went into the tumble dryer. Once finished approximately 20 tea towels were stacked in a pile and placed on top of the galley freezer. Continue reading »

Feb 122015
 
hru

MAC has raised warnings about the hazards of counterfeit safety-critical equipment in the past, including copycat Hammar HRUs but another danger is expired equipment which has been ‘refurbished’ and put on the market. CM Hammer, manufacturer of hydrostatic release units, HRUs, has now issued a warning regarding the dangers of such refurbished equipment being sold as new units following an alert by the UK’s Marine & Coastguard Agency, MCA.

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Dec 142014
 
magnet2

If it ain’t broke fixing it may break it is the message from the US Coast Guard in a safety alert regarding embarkation hull ladder magnets after a State Pilot fell suffered concussion as he was boarding a vessel using its pilot ladder. In this case the modified magnet arrangement disconnected, fell, and hit the pilot on the head.

It wasn’t the first such accident to be caused by a modified magnet arrangement. Other incidents with injuries have occurred on other vessels at several different ports, says the USCG. In each instance the hull magnets were modified prior to the accident. Moreover, in all cases, after restoring the hull magnets to their original design no further problems were experienced.
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Nov 062014
 
detroit2

detroit2Several Detroit Diesel engines have unique couplings which connect the heads on each side of the engine, a male-to-male threaded variable length couplingwhich lengthen when their ends are threaded into the heads. Following a fire aboard a passenger vessel the US Coastguard has issued a safety alert warning againstreplacing the couplings with ones which are not designed for use with the engines.

Recently, a fire occurred on a passenger vessel operating about a mile offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. A crewmember, while making a round in a machinery space, noticed that a small fuel spray fire had developed above one of the four propulsion engines. The crewmember vacated the space and informed the bridge watch. Subsequently, proper emergency procedures were followed, ventilation to the machinery space was secured, and the CO2 via the fixed fire fighting system was released. Fortunately for the 174 persons onboard, the fire was quickly extinguished without incident or additional complications. Although the investigation is not complete, USCG has issued an alert. Continue reading »

Nov 052014
 
Ocean Way. Photo: MCA Orals

Investigations are underway to establish the cause of the sinking of the Fraserburgh-based trawler Ocean Way some 100 miles east of the Farne Islands in the North Sea on Sunday, 2 November, but already a sadly familiar issue has already surfaced: lifejackets were not worn.

Search and rescue efforts to locate two missing crewmembers have been suspended. Two survivors and the body of the deceased skipper were pulled from the water. Neither survivor, nor the body of the skipper wore lifejackets.

A vessel can come to grief with extraordinary swiftness. There may be little time to launch a liferaft or to find and don lifejackets. Without a flotation device the extra effort needed to keep afloat encourages the onset of hypothermia and prevents seafarers helping each other. Continue reading »

Aug 112014
 
safespace2

safespaceOGP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, has issued a safety alert following the death of a worker at a construction/rig repair yard in Singapore in May this year. The worker had entered an enclosed space which was inerted with argon gas for a welding operation.

Argon does not do much which is why it is useful in processes like welding where a non-combustible atmosphere is needed to prevent fire and explosions. It can also kill, as this case shows.

Too often there is more than one casualty. The first victim is joined by those who follow attempting a rescue. About two thirds of casualties are would-be rescuers.

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Jul 302014
 

anglegrinderMore than 4,000 Matabo brand angle grinders are being recalled because the power switch gets stuck in the ‘On’ position, presenting  a laceration hazard. This recall involves Metabo W14-150 Ergo series 6-inch medium angle grinders.

. The grinders measure about 16 inches long by 4 inches wide by 5 inches deep, have a 6-inch wheel capacity and weigh about eight pounds. Metabo is printed on the handle and Metabo 14-150 Ergo is printed on the side of the grinder. The grinders are used for grinding and cutting metal.  Model numbers include 06251421 and 06251441 and serial numbers include 3010000001 through 4020031488 for both models. The model and serial numbers are located on the rating plate on the right side of the tool. Continue reading »