As IMCA informs, a blocked emergency exit hatch incident proves to be “food for thought”, as in case someone was trapped inside there could have been serious consequences.
n engine room emergency exit hatch could not be opened. The emergency exit hatch providing egress from the engine room to the vessel’s main deck on the starboard side at the stern, was found blocked during the Master’s routine inspection/walkaround. The hatch could not be opened from the engine room compartment.
It was discovered that the hatch was blocked by wire ropes left on top of it during recent spooling works on the main deck area. These activities had been observed on deck, as part of anchor handling preparation process conducted by a contractor party. The used wires left on top of emergency hatch was not noticed by the deck crew.
Keep emergency escape routes free of obstructions and in a safe condition at all times;
Better control of third-party activities onboard;
Hold regular “cold eyes” or cross-departmental reviews and safety walkarounds. You may be surprised at what the cook will discover on a walk round the back deck, or what the third engineer will spot on a visit to the bridge wing;
Imagine yourself in the position of the person who might be trapped by that stuck hatch. What can you do to make sure that never happens?