Oct 052010

You need hands... and fingers

As every butcher knows, sit a baby on the bacon slicer and you’ll get a little behind in your work. Similarly, a messman who hasn’t been trained to use a meat slicer could end up with the wrong sort of finger in the pie.

That’s one of the warnings to be gather from the current issue of the Nautical Institute’s October edition of its Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme, MARS.

MARS is one of several confidential reporting schemes, which includes MAC’s own ConReps and the Confidential Human factors Incident Reporting Programme, CHIRP, that enable seafarers to report safety-critical incidents and situations without putting their jobs on the line.

Among the issues in the current MARS is the following tale: The ship’s messman was involved in preparing cold meat cuts for dinner using the electrical meat slicer fitted in the galley. Unfortunately, his left forefinger came between its body and the slicing disc resulting in a deep cut. After being given first aid, investigations revealed that the messman was not following proper procedures, due to insufficient knowledge, experience and training.

Corrective/preventative actions
1. All vessels are to discuss the above incident at their next safety meeting;

2. Before allowing any person to operate any equipment on board, proper training is to be given. In this case the chief cook should have trained the messman, who was relatively inexperienced, about the correct procedures to be followed.

3. Operating instructions for galley equipment should be readily available and posted in the vicinity of such equipment.

4. All galley personnel who operate any equipment in the galley should be aware of the emergency stops for the equipment.

5. Personnel to take care while working with any equipment especially where the possibility of cuts/burns etc exist.

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