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Unfamiliar equipment leads to oxygen cylinder dropping 17 metres / 55 feet

  • What happened?

    An oxygen gas cylinder was being lowered from an offshore wind turbine to the transfer vessel below using a davit arm electric hoist.

    The cylinder broke free from the lifting harness and fell 17 metres / 55 feet.

    It hit and damaged the vessel deck and an access hatch.

    The gas regulator valve was broken off by the impact and the residual gas within the cylinder was released to atmosphere.

    The vessel deck hand received minor bruising to his thumb when the boat hook he was holding was struck by the cylinder as it bounced on the deck.

    The location of the fallen oxygen cylinder beside the damaged vessel deck.
  • Why did it happen?

    The harness buckle used (friction lever cam type) only provides security in one direction, which is not immediately obvious to somebody unfamiliar with the equipment.

    When incorrectly fastened, the buckle will freely allow the webbing strap to be pulled through and become detached (even under light load).

    The equipment was supplied and introduced without any operating instructions or specific user training.

    An example of a correctly fastened harness buckle
  • What did they learn?

    All safety critical equipment should be risk assessed in accordance with company management of change procedures. When developing and introducing new specialist equipment, evaluate and ensure it is fit for purpose and all safety principles have been satisfied.

    Prepare documented lifting plans and communicate to the workforce.

    Provide operatives training, instructions and appropriate information for the equipment used.

    Before each lift undertake lifting assessments to ensure the load is stable and secure and can be transported to its destination safely.

    What learn - icon
  • Ask yourself or your crew

    How do we ensure today's load is stable and secure?

    What additional information do you need before starting today's lifting task?

    What can we do to improve the way we communicate lifting plans?

    What controls do we have in place to prevent this from happening on our site?

    Ask your crew - icon
Published on 26/06/20 105 Views 0 likes

An oxygen gas cylinder was being transferred from a wind turbine to a transfer vessel below using a davit arm electric hoist. It broke free from the harness and fell approximately 17m / 55 ft, damaging the vessel deck. The deck hand received minor bruising to his thumb.