514 - 03/07 - Crew injured using gas cutting equipment - Worldwide

An incident has occurred on board a ship entered with the Association that echoes an incident and safety message of Loss Prevention Bulletin 428 issued in 2005.

Bulletin 428 described how a seafarer was lucky to be alive after being engulfed in flames because he was using gas cutting equipment to remove a section of hydraulic piping on one of the ship’s hatch covers. As soon as the pipe was breached the crewmember was covered in a spray of hydraulic oil which quickly ignited from the flame of the gas cutting equipment.

A more recent incident involved two crewmembers tasked with general maintenance of hatch cover hydraulics while the ship was at sea. The crewmembers had difficulty in removing bolts from a flange and so decided to cut them off using gas cutting equipment. As can be expected, once the flange was free there was a release of hydraulic oil and the spray unfortunately ignited in the same way as described in the incident above.

Both crewmembers were burned in this incident but were lucky enough to have not suffered serious or life-threatening injuries. It is important to note that the master, chief officer and chief engineer report that no hot-work was scheduled for that day – the crewmembers took it upon themselves to use gas cutting equipment without first informing senior management on board.

This is yet another incident that highlights the need for hot-work to be planned and supervised and crew should be briefed in this respect.

Source of information:   

Ernie Foster

Thomas Miller (Hellas)

Tel: +30 210 458 5226

Email: ernest.foster@thomasmiller.com

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