A fitter was scalded by hot water from a cooling pipe aboard the containership Safmarine Nuba. No risk assessment had been done so the hazard was not identified. The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Board has issued a preliminary report on the incident.
Says the MAIB synopsis: “The second engineer, third engineer and the fitter were engaged in fitting protection shields, supplied by the manufacturer on cylinders No 1 & 7 of the main engine, while the vessel was alongside in Rotterdam. No risk assessment was carried out and the protection shield around cylinder No 1 was completed with ease within an hour.
After lunch, the fitting of the protection shield on cylinder No 7 became more complex, necessitating the removal of platform plates, a non-pressurised pipe and the grinding of a protective bracket. No attempt was made to re-evaluate the risks. Shortly after the pipe was removed, the second engineer responded to an alarm on the boiler.
The third engineer, thinking that a bracket which had supported the drain pipe had to be removed, slackened and removed the bolts which were also holding the jacket cooling water pipe connection. As the third engineer and fitter attempted to manoeuvre the shield around the cylinder, it dislodged the cooling water pipe, which resulted in the fitter becoming drenched with hot water, 85º C, at 3.4 bar.
Safmarine (Pty) Ltd has taken positive actions, including circulating the lessons arising from this accident and ensuring that appropriate documented procedures are always followed.