Britannia P&I Club presents the safety threats of improper usage of portable power tools onboard, as well as risk mitigation options.
s Britannia explains in their latest Crew Wach, adherence to safety guidelines for portable power tools on board ships is often neglected and this can result in injuries to the eyes, chest and hands. Unfortunately some of these injuries have been fatal, despite being avoidable, the Club notes.
The removal of safety sleeves from needle scalers, the removal of safety guards, or the inefficient modification of safety guards have been recognized as the primary issues, according to the Club. Individuals have also tampered with or bypassed safety cut-out devices on instruments by employing methods like as wire, tape, or other means. Poor general maintenance, including wiring flaws, also affects electric tools, Britannia adds.
Britannia P&I Club has collected the following recommendations, which are not exhaustive, to reduce accidents caused by improper usage of grinders and other power tools:
- Prior to use, all tools should undergo daily inspection and safety checks
- Safety guards should never be modified or removed from any tool
- Before operating each tool, ensure that safety cutout devices are functional
- Test and visually inspect the wiring and overall condition of electrical tools to ensure safety
- All users must be equipped with and wear appropriate face shields, eye protection, hearing protection and the correct type of safety gloves when using any power tool on board
- Provide comprehensive training on the safe use of tools to all personnel and conduct pre-work risk assessments .
- Where power supply wires pass through doorways, the doors should be secured open.
- During temporary interruptions to work, equipment should be isolated from power sources and left safely or stowed away correctly |
- Seafarers should be advised not to use high speed rotating tools for more than 30 minutes without a break unless the risk assessment indicates a shorter period of use
- Ensure that the right disc is being used for the right material and at the correct speed-discs come with a max rotations per minute (rpm). This should not be exceeded
- Discs on grinders should be changed when they are worn to prevent kickback
- Install chain linkages or comparable mechanisms between hose sections to avoid pneumatic hose breakage and subsequent hose whiplash. Safety valves that shut off the lines can also be used
- Tool accessories (drill bits, discs etc) should be properly secured in the tool