Aug 112014
 

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.

Continue reading »

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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 »

Jul 292014
 

lifejacketgasAn autoinflating lifejacket that doesn’t auto-inflate when needed can ruin your whole day. It might be a good idea to check that the gas cylindre on yours is properly screwed in, says MarineSafe Australia Forum

On 7 June, 2014 a worker fell about four metres from the lower landing of an
offshore platform into the sea. He was retrieved from the water without delay by
the crew on a support transfer vessel and transferred to the site clinic for medical treatment.

The  Type 1 Inflatable Personal Flotation Device, PFD. the worker was wearing did not automatically inflate on contact with water despite being equipped with this capability. Inspection of the PFD after the incident identified that the gas canister was not fully screwed into the inflation tube fitting. Continue reading »

Jul 142014
 
epirbgmeStandard Communications Pty Ltd is recalling certain GME brand EPIRB units manufactured between January 2005 and February 2008. In some units a fault in the microprocessor may shut down the beacon and it may not work when required.
The affected units are the MT400, MT401 and MT403 beacons with serial numbers between 50101000 and 80250722. The serial number can be found on the left side of the beacon at the base of the identity panel.

Contact GME at recall@gme.net.au or your local distributor to arrange a replacement of your beacon at no extra charge.

GME EPIRB

Jul 142014
 
little

Failure occurred because a small drive belt that connected the console throttle lever components to an electrical potentiometer failed

Little things, sometimes not included in routine maintenance, can cause big problems warns the US Coast Guard in a Safety Alert. A  worn drive belt and loose nuts that went unnoticed are among the example that led to close calls that could easily have become casualties.

One example concerns a two-decades-old bulker which was leaving port when its main engine throttle failed. It managed to drop anchor without incident.

It happened because a small drive belt that connected the console throttle lever components to an electrical potentiometer failed. Movement of the throttle causes the potentiometer to move and creates a variable signal to other controls which manage engine speed. When the belt failed the control from the engine room console was lost. Fortunately, the vessel had a spare belt that the engineers replaced quickly.

The underside of the Bosch/Rexroth throttle was encased and the belt was not visible under normal circumstances. It was not routinely inspected.

Continue reading »

Jul 112014
 

pyroPyrotechnics: Think before you throw is the message from the Marine Safety Forum in its latest safety alert.

Says MSF: “Recently at a depot where ship’s garbage is sorted, a discarded marine flare ignited on the picking line. Fortunately on this occasion there was no injury to personnel involved but some damage has been done to the conveyor belt.

Investigations are currently underway, and with the help of other agencies it is hoped that the owner can be traced.

Mariners, Ship Owners, Agents and Chandlers are reminded that flares and other special wastes should not be disposed of within the ship’s waste receptacles provided by the port.

Disposal of Ship’s flares or any Marine pyrotechnic should only be arranged through an approved provider for such services.
Further information on safe disposal will be available through ships chandlers and suppliers of replacement/new pyrotechnic items.

Download the safety alert

Jul 102014
 

waterlightSinking lifebuoys have already appeared on MAC, now the US Coast Guard has issued an alert regarding replacement batteries on emergency equipment. In this case it was the floating water light attached to  lifebuoy that sank thanks to a replacement battery that was the wrong weight.

While conducting an annual inspection a Coast Guard inspector picked up a ring buoy’s water light and noticed that it felt heavier than usual. The master of the vessel was notified and he then agreed to perform a float test. When the ring buoy and its water light were tossed into the water, the water light instantly sank about 5’ to the end of its painter. Apparently, the last time the battery was replaced, a heavier battery than the manufacturer’s recommended battery was used. This occurred despite the water light’s labelled instructions regarding the correct battery type. Continue reading »

Jun 242014
 

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ID-100141843Painted capstan or windlass drum ends can create hazards, says a safety alert from the Marine Safety Forum. According to the auditor writing to MSF, the dangers are under-appreciated and says that such drums should not be prettied up with paintwork but many masters do not seethe danger.

Some time ago the writer was involved in investigating an incident where a seaman had damaged his wrist during a mooring operation. Part of the root cause was identified as resulting from the capstan drum end having been painted. The last eight ships audited by the writer all had painted capstan or windlass drum ends and two masters argued that there is nothing wrong with painting them.

The problem associated with this practice is that the paint itself is the hazard. Continue reading »

Jun 182014
 
timber

MNZ says loop lashing is the safest practice for securing timber deck cargoes in order to prevent damage or hazard to the ship and persons on board, and to prevent cargo loss.

Maritime New Zealand, MNZ, has issued a safety alert recommending loop lashing as the safest practice for securing timber deck cargoes to prevent damage or hazard to the ship and persons on board, and to prevent cargo loss.

A number of incidents have occurred around the world when best practice methods have not been used to secure cargoes resulting in injuries and loss of cargo overboard.

Says MNZ: “Any lashing practice must be able to overcome the transverse forces generated by the ship’s rolling movement. If the cargo is poorly lashed and the cargo moves during the voyage, it can cause a ship to lose stability. At present, the most common practice for securing timber deck cargoes to a ship is top-over lashing.”

Top-over lashing is a frictional lashing practice that applies vertical pressure that increases the friction force between the outer stows of deck cargo and the ship’s deck or hatch-cover. Top-over lashing as the sole securing practice for timber deck cargoes is sufficient only when the friction is very large or the expected transverse acceleration is very small. This practice is not recommended other than for vessels trading in restricted sea areas, inland or sheltered waterways. Continue reading »