Is Your Capstan Full Strength?

 Accident, anchor, Offshore, safety alert, Safety Alerts, safety flash  Comments Off on Is Your Capstan Full Strength?
Mar 172015

Ensure that the safe working load, SWL, of a capstan is greater than the rated pull of the capstan, says a safety alert from the International Marine Contractors Association, IMCA, following an incident aboard one of its members’ vessels. If the capstan does not stall before the wire fails the resulting parting of the wires can cause horrifying injuries.

Due to the company’s clear deck policy nobody was at risk but similar policies may not be in force, or practical, under other circumstances.

Says the IMCA:

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Aug 112014

safespaceOGP, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, has issued a safety alert following the death of a worker at a construction/rig repair yard in Singapore in May this year. The worker had entered an enclosed space which was inerted with argon gas for a welding operation.

Argon does not do much which is why it is useful in processes like welding where a non-combustible atmosphere is needed to prevent fire and explosions. It can also kill, as this case shows.

Too often there is more than one casualty. The first victim is joined by those who follow attempting a rescue. About two thirds of casualties are would-be rescuers.

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Jul 142014

Failure occurred because a small drive belt that connected the console throttle lever components to an electrical potentiometer failed

Little things, sometimes not included in routine maintenance, can cause big problems warns the US Coast Guard in a Safety Alert. A  worn drive belt and loose nuts that went unnoticed are among the example that led to close calls that could easily have become casualties.

One example concerns a two-decades-old bulker which was leaving port when its main engine throttle failed. It managed to drop anchor without incident.

It happened because a small drive belt that connected the console throttle lever components to an electrical potentiometer failed. Movement of the throttle causes the potentiometer to move and creates a variable signal to other controls which manage engine speed. When the belt failed the control from the engine room console was lost. Fortunately, the vessel had a spare belt that the engineers replaced quickly.

The underside of the Bosch/Rexroth throttle was encased and the belt was not visible under normal circumstances. It was not routinely inspected.

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Watch Out For Stroppy Fingers

 Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Watch Out For Stroppy Fingers
Jun 082014

stropArrange the strop properly when handling hoses then leave it alone is a key lesson from a recently issued safety alert from Marine Safety Forum. The incident resulted in a crewmember losing the tip of his finger in a rather unpleasant fashion. Not, of course, that there is pleasant way to lose a finger.while assisting the attachment of a bulk hose using the strop and pin method.

As the bulk hose was being lowered to the vessel the crew member caught the strop and looped it around the pin as usual procedure, but also took hold of the bulk hose as it continued lowering. As the hose lowered and the hang-off strop bore the weight of the hose his finger became trapped between the ship’s rail and the hose connection resulting in a finger being crushed and severed.

Says MSF: “The ‘strop and pin’ method of transferring a bulk hose requires minimal intervention or assistance from the vessels crew and there is no requirement or need for the crewmember to touch or guide the bulk hose as it is being lowered once the strop is attached. The only requirement for the crewmember during the bulk hose transfer is to catch the strop and ensure it is correctly looped over the pin.”

Here’s how the strop should be looped over the pin. No other intervention is required: Continue reading »

Swire Mini-Container Hinge Warning

 maritime safety news, Offshore, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Swire Mini-Container Hinge Warning
Feb 152013

swireSwire Oilfield Services has warned of potential door hinge failure on its AMF Mini containers AMF 651 to AMF 1104. The wrong grade of steel was used in the hinge assembly which could result in hinge pin failure.

Users have been advised to quarantine units and Swire is recalling them for repair where necessary.

For more information download the safety alert

Dealing With A Stroppy Hose

 maritime safety news, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Dealing With A Stroppy Hose
Feb 122013

A PSV was working alongside an installation and had successfully completed a discharge of oil based mud (OBM) to the installation via the mud hose. The vessel was subsequently required to deliver base oil (BO) using the same (OBM) delivery hose.

In order for the hose to reach the BO manifold onboard, the vessel would be required to re-position the OBM hose from the forward hang off pin to the aft hang off pin. This was to be executed utilising the platforms crane. The OBM hose was connected to the crane pennant and was lifted clear from the forward hang off pin in the usual manner. It was then transferred aft and re-positioned to one of the hang off pins adjacent to the BO connection. Once the hose was in the required position the hang off sling was placed over the pin.

The ABs noticed that the hose hang off sling was displaying signs of wear and tear / damage during the re- positioning of the hose from the forward to the aft pin. They however continued with the operation and as a precautionary measure they decided to secure the hose with a piece of rope as a backup. Continue reading »

Bad Bolts Close Rigs: BOPs “No Longer Fit For Purpose”

 corrosion, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Bad Bolts Close Rigs: BOPs “No Longer Fit For Purpose”
Feb 082013
Lower half of failed LMRP Connector

Lower half of failed LMRP Connector

Brittle bolts are believed to have been behind a pollution incident involving the discharge of synthetic base mud into the Gulf of Mexico, GOM, due to a loss of integrity of a LMRP H-4 connector says the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, BSEE. Operations on a number of wells have been suspended.

On January 24, 2013, BSEE personnel met with industry to discuss initial findings associated with the incident. During this meeting, a qualified third-party presented preliminary evidence that the stress corrosion cracking caused by hydrogen embrittlement was a contributor to the incident. It was introduced that zinc electroplating without proper baking, as per ASTM B633, was a possible cause of hydrogen embrittlement. During this meeting,

BSEE was told of two other rigs as having H-4 connector bolt failures.

On January 25, 2013, BSEE received information from the connector vendor which identified rigs as having blowout preventer, BOP, stack connectors that may contain bolts that may no longer be fit for purpose. BSEE issued emails to the associated operators of the subset of rigs with current well operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The content of the emails notified these operators of the initial findings and gave specific instructions on securing the current well operations in order to retrieve the LMRP and/or BOP to the surface, if not already on the surface.

These operators were directed to then suspend operations until the existing bolts on the LMRP connector/wellhead connector could be changed out with bolts that have been certified by an independent third-party to be in compliance with recommended heat treatment practices or the existing bolts have been examined and certified by an independent third-party that they are fit for purpose.

In order to ensure all of these affected bolts are identified and proper corrective action is taken,
BSEE recommends the following:
Operators are hereby urged to make an inventory of your contracted rigs [currently involved in well operations in the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (GOM) or planned to conduct well operations in the GOM] and investigate the bolts of the LMRP and Wellhead connectors.
If you have H-4 connectors, as identified in GE’s safety notice, and have verified through documentation that the connector contains any affected bolts, you should immediately notify BSEE. You should also consult with your contractors and subcontractors to determine the appropriate inspection, disposition and/or corrective actions. BSEE will require an independent third-party certification that confirms proper inspection and refurbishment processes were completed prior to reinstallation of any affected bolts.
Operators should review the QA/QC programs for all equipment vendors (contracted and sub- contracted) to ensure that all equipment is being manufactured to the required specifications.

Special attention should be given to ensure proper heat treating has taken place in accordance with the specifications.

BSEE Alert

Buoy Too Close To Fibre Line Led To Wandering MODU

 maritime safety news, mooring, mooring, MSF, Offshore, Offshore, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Buoy Too Close To Fibre Line Led To Wandering MODU
Jul 162012

Mooring line No. 5 after the accident

Marine Safety Forum warns that a MODU was moored with eight mooring lines and connected to the well. A loud noise was heard originating from aft, port side column and it was observed on the tension monitoring that the mooring line no. 5 lost its initial tension of 145mT down to 45mT.

The MODU got an excursion of 12 meters from initial position and the MODU tilted 2,3 degrees. Angle on lower flex joint was less than 2 degrees. Ballasting system was run to stabilize the MODU and the thrusters operated in manual mode to re-locate the MODU back to its initial position prior to the mooring line failure.

It was identified some time thereafter that the fiber rope insert in mooring line no. 5 had failed. The triggering cause was that the subsurface buoy shackle/chain came into contact with the fibre rope insert and lead to loss of integrity of the fiber rope insert.

Critical Factors (CF) that lead to the incident:
CF1: Subsurface buoy shackle and chain fastened too close to the fiber line
CF2: Rotational movement of the mooring line lead to the subsurface buoy arrangement getting tangled up into the fiber line (Fig 2)


1. Install subsurface buoy to the bottom chain segment by “snotter” shackle in a safe distance to avoid the subsurface buoy to reach the fiber line segment connection point

2. Install high tension swivels in both ends of the fiber line insert

3. Evaluate use of swivels during test tension to avoid twist in pre-installed anchor lines

4. Assess the use of ROV survey when the MODU has achieved work tension in the mooring lines

5. All parties involved in the rig move process, is recommended to make themself familiar with industry learning related to mooring line failures and by doing so, bring learning forward in risk assessments and point-out potential weaknesses in rig move documentation issued for review

Rig Specific Corrective Action Plans to be developed, tracked and closed.

Download Safety Alert

Jan 012012


Some accidents make one wonder whether Mr. Bean wrote the script. A recent safety alert for the Marine Safety Forum is an example. It could, of course, have been much worse, and did potentially put others in danger.

The MSF safety alert goes thusly, in its own words: “During preparation for tank cleaning onboard a PSV, one of the AB’s fell from the main deck down in starboard methanol tank. The fall height was 4,30 m. The AB was securing the area with blocking (barrier) tape and while moving backwards, he stepped into the tank. The injured person (IP) fractured his femur.

The vessel splanned start tank cleaning later that night, and the deck crew was removing the hatches from the man-holes in the cargo-rail in order to measure the content of oxygen, and ventilation of the tanks below main-deck. In total, 16 hatches were to be opened. After opening each tank, the Chief Officer measured the oxygen, and safety barriers were arranged around each tank. In
addition, a plastic grating was laid over each man-hole.

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