Jul 292015
 

If you can read the label on your liferaft hydrostatic release unit without standing on your head then it may be incorrectly installed, suggests a warning from Marine Safety Forum. Worth noting that the problem was identified onboard a vessel during an internal inspection only two days after a flag state safety equipment survey.

The discovery concerned Thanner 4 Year Hydrostatic Release Units which comprise a hydrostatic bolt within a frame. When the release operates, the bracket comes free of the bolt, allowing the raft to float free. At this point the painter should remain attached to the ship via a small wire weak link; the same would apply if the raft had been released manually. If the release unit has been fitted upside down, as has been found recently as shown below left, the weak link is not connected to the ship. Therefore, upon release, the raft would be allowed to float free without inflating, which could result in an evacuating crew having a very bad day.

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Apr 012015
 

Given the enthusiasm displayed by lifeboats to fall off their hooks with depressing regularity one would hope that fitting a fall prevention device, FPD, to a lifeboat during drills is regarded as good seamanship these days. On the other hand one that is not properly arranged is not going to do its job, as a safety alert from Marine Safety Forum, MSF, explains.

An MSF member reports that during hoisting of a starboard lifeboat, it reached the upper deck, it was noticed that the FPD was not properly secured or attached to the lifeboat. Continue reading »

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Is Your Capstan Full Strength?

 Accident, anchor, Offshore, safety alert, Safety Alerts, safety flash  Comments Off on Is Your Capstan Full Strength?
Mar 172015
 

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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Early Lessons From Insignia Fire And Personal Escape

 cruise liner, cruises line,, engine room, fire, fire/explosion, safety alert, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Early Lessons From Insignia Fire And Personal Escape
Mar 162015
 

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
 

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 »

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Dec 142014
 

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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Grinding On Is Wrong – Recall

 safety alert, Safety Alerts, safety flash  Comments Off on Grinding On Is Wrong – Recall
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 »

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Apr 182014
 

greaseGreasing palms is not unknown in the maritime industry but greasing a little finger is somewhat rarer. Although this warning from Marine Safety Forum, MSF concerns a non-maritime incident there may still be the potential for it.

The operator was using a handheld grease gun to lubricate various grease points on earth-moving plant when he felt a sharp prick to his right little finger and on inspection noticed a small hole. On squeezing the finger about a teaspoon of grease was ejected.

He had not been wearing gloves.

Medical attention was sought resulting in a lengthy operation and removal of a vein in the forearm. This was replaced with an artificial vein.

MSF says: “At this time the operation appears successful however constant medical monitoring and surgery care is paramount to a successful rehabilitation.” Continue reading »

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Does Your Fire Extinguisher Whoosh Or Dribble?

 safety alert, Safety Alerts, safety flash  Comments Off on Does Your Fire Extinguisher Whoosh Or Dribble?
Apr 162014
 

fireextWill your handheld fire extinguisher go off with a satisfying, throaty whoosh when it’s needed or will you be greeted by a rather disappointing, geriatric dribble? It might if the fire extinguisher is getting on a bit and has been serviced with the wrong components suggests a United States Coastguard safety alert.

Issued this month the alert says: During a fire-fighting event, a crewmember attempted to use a 15 lb CO2 extinguisher,
but the extinguisher failed to properly discharge and only seeped from the neck of the extinguisher.
The fire was extinguished by another crewmember using a dry-chemical fire extinguisher.”

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