Aug 092010

The bruising hammer

Take your time and maybe used less force on vessel connections suggests Marine Safety Forum following a recent injury.

A platform supply ship was called into the platform to discharge water and fuel. Two deck crewmen were on duty. The weather was calm and fine and it was daylight.

The FW hose was sent down to the starboard side amidships. The IP went to take the end cap off the vessel connection. The connection faces aft and is about 1 metre off the deck. He faced the manifold and took a small hand sledge hammer in his right hand and held the cap in his left hand in case it spun and fell to the deck. He struck the cap lugs with force moving the hammer from right to left to turn the cap anti-clockwise. The hammer head glanced off the cap lugs and struck his left hand heavily on the palm at the base of his thumb.


The cap, now replaced - how tight does it really need to be?

At the time he thought nothing of it as it did not hurt. But the next day it did and he reported to the Chief Officer. He was sent to the hospital. Luckily no bones had been broken but there is severe bruising.

Lessons learned:
1. The lugs were worn from previous repeated hammer blows. Safety area inspections should pick up this kind of defect. Renew the lugs on caps where they are worn. Inspect all other caps for similar wear (There is a variety of different caps even on this one ship);
2. The IP was in a hurry to connect up. Whilst there was no stated pressure he felt he had to get the job done quickly;
3. Use less force in future. Less powerful repeated blows should do the same job and be less painful if

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