Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
HYDRAULIC-LINEFATALITY-24TH NOV 2003
On a vessel the deck hydraulic Line, a length of which was to be renewed, was being removed from its place.
Deck fitter was assigned the job. Pipe line was relieved of hydraulic pressure before commencing the work. Fitter was provided the Dk cadet for assistance.
Though he was instructed clearly to open the flange bolts and nuts he disregarded the instruction. As a short cut to get away from the hard work of opening & cutting by chisel the rusted bolts and nuts, he decided to gas cut them.
During cutting the oil became hot. After cutting the bolts he held the lighted torch in his left hand and with his right hand gave a hammer tap to break the joint which was stuck badly. The joint gave way suddenly and he was sprayed with a hot jet of hydraulic oil.
In the process the lighted torch fell on his person and his oil soaked boiler suit caught fire. The cadet became panicky and could not take timely preventive action to put out the fire. The delay caused fatal burns and the fitter succumbed to his injuries.
Gas cutting of lines must be avoided at all costs.