Sep 302010
 

image During the 15th session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers, DSC, held from 13 to 17 September 2010 session, the work on revised draft IMO Recommendations for Entering Enclosed Spaces was finalised. The draft will now be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for adoption.

The revision was caused by a continued high frequency of accidents in connection with entry into enclosed spaces. What is new is that now enclosed spaces are to be identified in each individual ship, that clear guidelines and procedures for entry into these spaces are to be determined, and that training must be provided for their evacuation.

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Aug 182010
 

imageConfined space hazards can crop up in the most unexpected places, as a recent report in the Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme’s Maritime Feedback shows. In this case it’s one your catering crew should be made aware of.

Says the CHIRP report: “The morning after taking three months’ provisions aboard the vessel, the chief cook proceeded to fetch some meat from the refrigerated meat room. Upon opening the door, he was affected by the atmosphere of the meat room. His eyes and nose were severely irritated by the atmosphere and he immediately closed the door.
The chief cook reported a ‘smell’ in the meat room to an officer who he encountered in the duty mess room. This officer subsequently entered the meat room to check for problems. After a period of 30 to 60 seconds he started to feel light headed and left the room.

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Apr 142010
 

image P&I club Steamship Mutual’s latest Risk Alert says that crew illness and injury claims consistently represent around 30% of all claims incurred by the club in any one year. A substantial number involve avoidable personal injury and high levels of cost.

These have included a bosun severely injured by a heavy tarpaulin dropped into a hold, a seafarer and chief officer trapped by a cargo of pipes during heavy weather, a oss of barge stability that resulted in two seafarers, one of whom died, going overboard along with cargo, and a crushed thumb.

“It should be evident from the narrative of each event that the incidents and the resultant injuries were all avoidable,” says SSM.

Download a copy of Risk Alert here.

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Feb 092010
 
image

Recreation of fallen fitter's position. Note head and hard hat against metal edge

Despite ‘an efficient and well-run safety system and organisation on board’ the chemical/product tanker Torm Camilla, a fitter fell 1.8 metres to the bottom of the forepeak tank and suffered a fractured skull. Two elements in particular led to the accident and its severity – holes in a platform which provided a tripping hazard and the inadequacy of the protective headgear worn by the injured fitter.

While trips, slips and falls occur on deck it should be noted that the injuries sustained may be greater in a confined environment and first aid and rescue more hazardous both to the injured person and the rescuers. It has been estimated that work in confined space is 150 times more dangerous than work elsewhere.

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May 052009
 

The Case Of The Silent Assassin

In September 2007, after broadcasting several audio podcasts and blog posts on the subject we realised that confined space/enclose space casualties were disturbingly common and seemed to be a major issue that wasn’t going away. We wanted to do something, however modest, to help address the situation. We discussed the issue with IDESS Interactive Technologies, which shared our concerns, and we agreed to collaborate in the production of three animated versions of MAC podcasts of which the first was to The Case Of The Silent Assassin, based on the Sapphire incident investigated by Ron Strathdee of the Isle Of Man registry.

If you would like a copy please contact IDESS Interactive Technologies

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Jan 072009
 

MAC will be dealing with the MAIB report on the Saga Rose incident , released today, in which a second bosun died in a ballast tank, in a forthcoming podcast Many of the lessons are familiar but one in particular stands out – beware of change.

Joselito, the 43-years old second bosun aboard the cruise ship Saga Rose when it docked in Southampton, was tasked with finding out whether the water in a water tank was fresh or salty. To do that, he was asked to taste it, not a very healthy way to go around things but let that pass.

It was assumed that the tank he was to test was full so all he had to do was open the access, and reach in. He wouldn’t have to actually get into the tank so it was decided that no entry permit, or its safety procedures, was required. Joselito knew the procedures and had apparently followed them faithfully when entering such a space on previous occasions. Continue reading »

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More "confined space that wasn’t" incidents

 Accident, confined space, enclosed space, SafeSpace  Comments Off on More "confined space that wasn’t" incidents
Aug 262008
 

MAC has already mentioned one example of a ‘confined space entry incident that wasn’t’ , now another example has been highlighted by the International Marine Contractors Association on an offshore installation.

In both cases, crew were enveloped in an oxygen deficient atmosphere, even though they were in the “open air”, while standing over an open hatch/manhole cover to test the confined space below. In both cases a crewmember was rendered unconscious. Although the were no serious injuries, there is still potential for them.

Here’s the IMCA alert:

“A member has reported a serious confined space incident in which a crew member was injured. The incident occurred during quarterly planned maintenance of the leakage detection system in the base of one of the legs of a semi-submersible accommodation unit alongside fixed production platform.

“A crew member lifted the manhole cover to gain access to the tank to undertake planned maintenance.

The crew member was working next to his supervisor who began to lower gas sampling equipment into the tank as part of normal pre-entry checks. Within a minute of the manhole cover being lifted, the gas sampling equipment (which was 3m down into the 6m height of the tank) gave an alarm, and the crew member lost consciousness.

“Subsequent gas sampling during the investigation was undertaken and recorded unexpectedly high levels of hydrogen. The presence of hydrogen can be explained by the electrolytic reaction between the sacrificial anodes and the steel within the ballast tank below the tank being worked upon.

“The crew member who lost consciousness recovered fully with no residual ill health effects.

The company involved made the following recommendations:

  •  Vent ballast tanks regularly in order to prevent hydrogen build-up;
  •  Ensure appropriate steps are taken to purge gases from ballast tanks prior to tank opening;
  •  Using appropriate equipment, conduct tests for the presence of hydrogen before tank entry;
  •  Remain mindful of the potential for build-up of hydrogen in ballast tanks where sacrificial anodes are used;
  •  Review gas sampling procedure.”
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Aug 192008
 

MAIB’s report on the Figaro incident in December 2007 in which an accidental activation of the ship’s CO2 smothering system led to the vessel losing propulsion and electrical power in rough weather, sending it drifting toward Wolf Rock off the southern English coast, reads almost like an adventure story full of derring-do and not a little personal courage and is well worth the read.

All the same, it shouldn’t have happened. Says MAIB: “The investigation identified that the maintenance instructions for the CO2 system were contradictory and vulnerable to misinterpretation. The crew of Figaro were unfamiliar with the equipment and were unable to recognise the problem that occurred during the routine test, or realise the risk posed by leaving the system in an unstable condition. The incident also highlighted some areas where ETV procedures could be improved to help maintain the successful reputation that this service has gained.” Continue reading »

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