Lock out/tag out procedures (LOTO) are crucial in preventing accidents on ships. An electrician on board a tanker suffered a finger injury as a result of not using these procedures. The Nautical Institute describes the incident in its latest Mars Report.

The Nautical Institute gathers reports of maritime accidents and near-misses. It then publishes these so-called Mars (Mariners’ Alerting and Reporting Scheme) Reports (anonymously) to prevent other accidents from happening. This is one of these reports.

Mars 202426 finger injury

A tanker was at anchor near a port and some maintenance was being carried out. The electrician and two engineers were carrying out maintenance work on one of the engine room supply fans. As they attempted to open the fan cover, the electrician put his fingers between the cover of the fan and the impeller blades. The blades were still turning.

The victim suffered a deep laceration to the ring finger of the right hand, even though he was wearing gloves. The victim was sent ashore where surgery had to be performed and he was subsequently repatriated for recovery.

Also read: Finger crushed in windlass results in re-engineered pin that reduces risk

Advice from The Nautical Institute

  • Injuries are prevented by using adequate lock out/tag out procedures (LOTO). This appears to not have been the case in this accident.
  • Keep your hands safe. Never use your hands to do a task that can be done with a tool.
  • Hazard identification prior to any work activity is essential in minimising risks. Use the ‘TAKE 5’ safety practice before any work activity. (https://safetyculture.com/topic/take-5-safety/)
  • Proper supervision can prevent accidents.

Also read: Safety equipment becomes snag hazard and crew member injures finger

Mars Reports

This accident was covered in the Mars Reports, originally published as Mars 202426, that are part of Report Number 379. A selection of the Mars Reports are also published in the SWZ|Maritime magazine. 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: Crew member’s finger crushed when securing crane jib