A potential problem may exist on lifeboat switchboards which means that the lifeboat winch motor may become energised even when interlocks are thought to be applied, warn Step Change In Safety.
In an incident report on its website, Step Change says: “An offshore technician sustained severe bruising to both upper arms whilst conducting routine maintenance on a TEMPSC, (Totally Enclosed Motorised Propeller-driven Survival Craft. MAC) on a normally unmanned installation. As part of the maintenance, the TEMPSC had been lowered and was in the process of being hand cranked back into the davit stops by the technician. The winch motor inadvertently operated driving the hand crank out of the technician’s hands causing heavy impact to both upper arms.
“Following checks on a platform life boat system it has been identified that a potential problem may exist on lifeboat switchboards This issue means that the lifeboat winch motor may become energised even when interlocks are thought to be applied – such unexpected energising caused serious injury to a mechanical technician who was engaged in hand cranking a lifeboat with an interlock thought to be in place. A start signal to winch up can be achieved with the Local/Remote selector switch in the OFF or LOCAL position and using the start button on the front of the motor manager. In this configuration the stop button, crank handle interlock and davit arm limit switches were found to be bypassed.”
Any companies having a lifeboat lifting mechanism which may be similarly designed to this should check the wiring of the system against approved drawings to ensure that energising cannot occur even when interlocks are applied, for example when hand cranking the life boat into position.
Source: Step Change In Safety