Painted capstan or windlass drum ends can create hazards, says a safety alert from the Marine Safety Forum. According to the auditor writing to MSF, the dangers are under-appreciated and says that such drums should not be prettied up with paintwork but many masters do not seethe danger.
Some time ago the writer was involved in investigating an incident where a seaman had damaged his wrist during a mooring operation. Part of the root cause was identified as resulting from the capstan drum end having been painted. The last eight ships audited by the writer all had painted capstan or windlass drum ends and two masters argued that there is nothing wrong with painting them.
The problem associated with this practice is that the paint itself is the hazard.