Hong Kong Merchant Shipping informs about a fatal accident that happened on board during the repair of an outlet valve of the exhaust gas boiler.
fatal accident happened on board a Hong Kong registered container carrier when the vessel was berthed alongside for cargo operation in Vancouver, Canada.
The Fitter was working with the 3/E on the leaking valve of the EGB which was de-pressurised but was still full of hot water and steam. The isolation valve between the EGB and the auxiliary boiler, which was maintained at 4 bar pressure, was shut.
After re-conditioning the valve by replacing the joint gasket of its bonnet cover, the 3/E used a rope to lower down the bonnet cover of the valve with the assistance of the Fitter who stood below the valve casing whilst holding another rope lashed to the bonnet stem.
When the bonnet cover was placed on the valve casing, hot water suddenly gushed out of the bonnet joint of the repaired valve and scalded the Fitter underneath. The Fitter was sent to a local hospital on the same day, but he died in the hospital about one month later.
The investigation revealed that the engine crew members failed to follow the Code of safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers to dissipate or isolate the thermal energy in the EGB together with the attached pipe resulting in hot water gushing out and scalding the Fitter.
The investigation also identified that the engine crew members failed to strictly follow the risk assessment report to carry out the required control measures of the repair work; and that they did not have sufficient safety awareness to apply good craftsmanship to control the potential fatal hazards when handling repair work.
In order to avoid recurrence of similar accidents in the future, all masters, officers, and crew of vessels should:
- draw the attention of all masters, officers and crew members to the findings of the investigation; and
- enhance training on board to improve crew members’ safety awareness of the potential hazards of working on hot fluid systems.