While engaged in grinding operations, a foreign object got into a crew member’s eye. The Marine Safety Forum issued a Safety Alert to highlight the importance of using the correct eye protection and its correct stowage.
his object was either already within the safety visor or flew up beneath the full-face protection and under his own glasses. The IP immediately stopped the job, washed out his eye, and reported to the master.
During the medical examination by the master, no object was found, and the IP no longer had any vision pain or discomfort.
At the time, the IP was wearing a full-face visor, and his own prescription glasses. He made the natural assumption that his eyes would be fully protected. Unfortunately, this was not the case, the foreign object could have fallen into his eye from within the visor or flew up under his full-face protection.
According to MSF, this incident shows the importance of using the correct eye protection and its correct stowage. On this particular vessel, since this incident, the stowage of all eye protection PPE, has been re-located and enhanced by placing it in clear plastic bags to ensure it is clean and free from foreign objects before being used.
In this incident, goggles were being stowed in an unsuitable position next to drilling and cutting machinery within the workshop, where there was a very good chance that particles could land within the protective gear, and therefore could fall into an operator’s eyes.
Actions taken and lessons learned
- The stowage for eye protection has been changed to a safer position, and within clear plastic bags.
- The Risk Assessments for use of Power Tools, Hot Work and Grinding have been adjusted to state that “Goggles MUST be worn” as opposed to “Correct PPE should be used.”