The incident

An electrician received an electric shock while he was running a new cable through an existing cable tray. The electrician touched the bare end of live cable which was in the cable tray.

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After that had a medical evaluation at an onshore medical facility and received a full clearance to return to work.

Probable cause

According to IMCA, the cable had been installed and secured at the time of vessel construction and was found coiled and secured in the cable tray with plastic cable ties.

In addition, the wire end of the cable was not covered, as it was cut flush with cable jacket and was labelled ‘spare’.

Other factors that contributed to this incident were:

  • A live or energised wire installed during the build phase was hidden from view in a cable tray;
  • The wire was incorrectly labelled;
  • The energised wire was installed and labelled as a heater in the electrical panel with the breaker engaged in the on or closed position, but the end of the wire marked as a ‘spare’.

Lessons learned

After the incident, the operators conducted an onsite ‘Cable Verification Campaign’, checking all accessible cable trays. All spare cables and wires were tagged and identified as well.

Moreover, IMCA recommended the following:

  • Ensure relevant checks are performed during the new build phase;
  • Have a thorough pre-inspection of a work area where cables are present, and notify relevant personnel of any anomalies;
  • Ensure relevant permit to work (PTW)/isolations are in place.