(Mars 201910) An engine rating and an engineer were tasked with renewing the discharge pressure gauge on a circulating pump.
After isolating the steam lines and releasing the line pressure, the gauge was changed and the associated connections were reinstalled. The steam line was then partially opened to check the operation of the pressure gauge.
The pressure gauge was found to be operating satisfactorily at low pressure. As everything appeared to be in order, the steam line was then opened fully.
As the rating was securing the tools near the work site, the steam inlet pipe to the pressure gauge gave way and hot water and steam splashed over the victim’s left arm. He sustained second degree steam burns on his left hand and was sent to a shore hospital for further medical attention.
Among other things, the company investigation found:
- The engineer in charge did not check the tightness of the fitting (ferrule with pressure gauge) prior to opening the steam valves.
- The newly renewed pressure gauge and its associated components were not tested for a sufficient time at normal working pressure.
- Testing of newly renewed pressure components should be carried out at working pressure and for a sufficient time interval to assure the integrity of the job.
- The area near the components should be cleared of personnel during the test.