Safemarine Nuba Scalding: No Risk Assessment

 Accident report, burns, casualties, MAIB  Comments Off on Safemarine Nuba Scalding: No Risk Assessment
Apr 222010


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.

Read the MAIB Preliminary Report

Shanghai Carrier Fatality – Brazil Wants IMO Procedures On Steam System

 Accident report, burns, explosion  Comments Off on Shanghai Carrier Fatality – Brazil Wants IMO Procedures On Steam System
Apr 192010

image Brazil’s Maritime Authority, Marinho Do Brazil, has recommended that the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, should standardise procedures for the “verification, tests and inspections of the artefacts of steam should be standardized by the IMO and not just defined by each classification society in conformity with their own criteria”. The recommendation is made in the authority’s report into the death of a seafarer aboard the bulker Shanghai Carrier on 9 November 2009.

It is believed that an engineering officer on watch opened a drain valve on a steam pipeline too quickly. A water hammer developed which led to the bursting of a drainage tank near the drain valve. The officer suffered burns, resulting from the
direct impact of live and condensed steam accumulated in the drainage tank and, despite being rescued, died later from injuries suffered.

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ATSB report on boiled seafarer

 ATSB, Australia, burns, steam  Comments Off on ATSB report on boiled seafarer
Sep 272007

Australia’s Transport Safety Board has issued its final report on the severe burning of a seafarer aboard the MSC Sonia when steam was vented while he was in the funnel painting the main engine exhaust pipes. The steam badly scalded the seafarer and was forceful enough to blow the bosun off his feet.

Key points are that the seafarer and the bosun who was with him were not aware of the hazards, indeed, no-one seemed to know what the steam vent was for; at the time of the incident a surveyor, the chief engineer and others were in the engine room for the vessel’s class survey but did not know the seafarer and bosun were working on the funnel; senior deck and engineering officers did not have adequate knowledge of what the various departments were doing or planning; there was no risk/hazard survey of the two tasks (the survey and painting the funnel); the steam vent itself was positioned in such a way that anyone near the funnel was at risk when it exhausted.

Poor communications and poor safety awareness played major roles in the incident.

Although ASTB doesn’t directly address the issue, it does sound as if certain working procedures were not followed. The engine room should have been notified and signs posted on critical machinery, in this case the boiler, that men were working.

One practical lesson is, of course, that if you see a pipe pointing in your direction, it’s probably a good idea to find out what it is.

The ATSB’s official notice says “The ATSB has found that a lack of communication, hazard awareness and job safety analysis led to a seaman on board the Panamanian registered container ship MSC Sonia being severely burned by steam.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation also found that the placement
of the boiler safety valve vent pipe, and the direction in which it exhausted, meant that any personnel on the funnel casing top platform were vulnerable when a boiler safety valve operated.

At about 0900 on 10 April 2007, a surveyor arrived on board MSC Sonia to carry out a
scheduled boiler survey while the ship was alongside Swanson Dock, Melbourne.
The ship’s chief engineer and the surveyor went to the engine room and, after visually inspecting the outside of the boiler; they tested the safety cut-out devices. The surveyor then asked for the operation of the safety valves to be tested. The turbo-alternator was shut down to reduce the steam demand and the boiler’s two burners were ?red manually. The steam pressure started to rise and, at about 0945, when the boiler pressure reached 11 bar, the safety valves operated.
The ship’s boatswain and the ordinary seaman had spent all morning on the top platform
of the funnel casing painting the main engine exhaust pipes. At about 0945, steam
unexpectedly exhausted from the nearby boiler safety valve vent pipe, directly onto the ordinary seaman.

The ordinary seaman was severely burned by the steam. He was assisted down the funnel
casing ladder and onto the bridge deck. While he lay on the deck, the crew used a hose to shower him with water to cool his burns.

At 1015, an ambulance team arrived on board the ship and, by about 1100, the ordinary
seaman had been landed ashore, placed in the waiting ambulance and taken to hospital.
The ATSB is pleased to report safety action already taken and has issued one safety
recommendation and two safety advisory notices with the aim of preventing similar

For the report and recommendations, right click and download here