Fire: BBC Baltic – Half-hearted Hot-Work Procedures

 Accident, Accident report, ATSB, Australia, fire  Comments Off on Fire: BBC Baltic – Half-hearted Hot-Work Procedures
Jul 202012

BBC Baltic burns

All too often there seems to be a disconnect between what procedures are supposed to achieve in terms of safety and the place of paperwork. So it was with a fire aboard BBC Baltic.

Procedures and permits are safety nets. When they become merely a paper exercise bad things happen.

At about 1605 on 26 January 2012, a fire broke out in the number one cargo hold of the general cargo ship BBC Baltic while it was discharging cargo in Port Hedland. At the time, workers from Cervan Marine, a local engineering company, were gas cutting in the cargo hold using an oxy-acetylene torch. The ship’s crew assisted by the local emergency services fought the fire and, by 1625, had extinguished it. There were no injuries as a result of the incident and damage to the ship and its cargo was not serious.

In carrying out the hot work on board BBC Baltic, neither the ship’s crew nor the Cervan Marine workers properly considered and mitigated the risk of fire. All the precautions listed on the ship’s hot work permit were not taken nor was the permit completed properly. Similarly, all the measures listed on Cervan Marine’s job safety analysis were not taken. Furthermore, a tool box meeting was not held to discuss the work and risk, define roles and responsibilities, and the action to take in case of a fire. 

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Iron King – Steering Loss Drills/Training Inadequate

 Accident report, bulk carrier, grounding  Comments Off on Iron King – Steering Loss Drills/Training Inadequate
Oct 122009

imageLack of drills and training in procedures to be used in case of loss of steering have been identified as safety issues by Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau, ATSB, in its report on the 31 July 2008 grounding of the bulk carrier Iron King at Port Hedland, Western Australia.

The grounding followed two steering gear malfunctions on the outbound ship. After the incident a technician checked the steering gear rotary vane unit pressure and discovered that the actuator pressure was 75 bar when the rudder was turning to starboard, but only 20 bar when it was turning to port. He
determined that the aft actuator relief valve, one of two valves controlling oil pressure within the actuator, was draining oil from the actuator whenever the rudder was turning to port. As a result, the actuator pressure was being limited to 20 bar, a pressure that was insufficient to provide the torque required to turn the rudder to port when it was under load. The aft actuator relief valve was removed and the technician found that it was sticking. Continue reading »