May 272010

imageOil A safety alert has been issued by the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers has highlighted the dangers of unshielded fans after a worker’s hand was partially amputated.

Says the alert:

  • As the worker was cleaning the building walls, he noticed a small amount of oil below the generator fan guard.
  • The worker folded a small rag and attempted to clean the area, while the generator was running. A small opening on the fan guard, which allows for removal of the guarding during servicing, allowed the rotating fan blades to grab the rag, which pulled the workers hand into fan blades.
  • This resulted in a partial amputation of the workers hand.
What Went Wrong?:
  • Rotating equipment guard did not completely mitigate the rotating hazard allowing contact with the worker when not isolating the equipment
  • Hazard of loose rag being drawn into rotating fan not recognized
  • Failure to follow procedures – administrative control requires equipment to be isolated prior to servicing
Corrective actions and Recommendations:
  • Evaluate rotating equipment has complete guarding to prevent access. If inadequate, consider implementation of administrative controls. Procedures for working on or near rotating equipment to also include hazard assessment of inadequate guarded equipment.
  • Work with rotary equipment suppliers to ensure adequate guarding in place prior to installation or constructed prior to start up.
  • Evaluate the need for isolation procedures to ensure equipment is isolated and de-energized prior to attempting any housekeeping tasks on running equipment.

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