When working with elements that have potential energy, proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and correct body position are vital for safety. The Nautical Institute gives this warning in its latest Mars Report, in which a crew member got injured after being hit by exhaust valve springs.

The Nautical Institute gathers reports of maritime accidents and near-misses. It then publishes these so-called Mars Reports (anonymously) to prevent other accidents from happening. A summary of this incident:

A member of the engine room staff was carrying out routine maintenance on an auxiliary engine while the vessel was at anchor.

He was extracting the suction and exhaust valves of the auxiliary engine by decompressing the support springs, using the correct tool for the purpose, when the tool slipped and the springs jumped off, striking him on the chin, lower lip and left eye.

The victim was evacuated to a shore hospital for treatment.

Also read: Crew member without PPE suffers hot sludge burns

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202310, that are part of Report Number 364. A selection of this Mars Report was also published in SWZ|Maritime’s March 2023 issue. The Nautical Institute compiles these reports to help prevent maritime accidents. That is why they are also published (in full) on SWZ|Maritime’s website.

More reports are needed to keep the scheme interesting and informative. All reports are read only by the Mars coordinator and are treated in the strictest confidence. To submit a report, please use the Mars report form.

Also read: Nautical Institute: Always use PPE when working with grinding wheels and discs