SAFETY ALERT NO. 207: BROKEN DECK WINCH FOOTINGS
Release Date: —
Time incident occurred: —
Type of Activity: Lifting, crane, rigging, deck operations
Type of Injury: Struck by
Applicabale Filter Categories: Struck by,Structural failure (offshore),System/Equipment failure
A vessel had been fitted with two deck winches to assist in diver operations. Both had been subjected to 3rd party load and 3rd party NDT testing on the sea-fastenings just a few days prior to the incident.
While one of the winches was being used to help orientate a load that was being swung out over the side of the vessel, it came off its footings and the short length of flexible air hose connecting it to the LP air ring-main parted, catching the winch operator under the arm and lacerating it severely.
The winch operator very calmly collected burning gear, which had been laid out ready to hand in case of need, and severed the winch wire to prevent the winch going overboard. He then was told to go to the sick-bay for treatment by a deck colleague who came to assist, and was subsequently medivaced to the beach for hospital treatment.
What Went Wrong?
Examination of the winch showed that the wire had not embedded itself in the wire turns on the drum and showed no signs of having been under stress.
The control levers were all functioning in the correct direction and the weld on the sea-fastenings were sound and in good order.
What had broken were the footings from the winch side plates. Examination showed that these had old cracks in them which had been filled with paint and both the inboard pair of footing showed that they had cracked right through some time in the past due to signs of corrosion in the metal and paint, which had leached through into the cracks. The two outer footings had evidently been able to withstand the stress of the load test but had given way once they were used again. Close examination showed that these also had old cracks in them and the bolts holding the footings of the winch onto the steel base plate were also cracked through.
Corrective actions and Recommendations
It became evident that the whole body of the winch needs to be carefully checked for cracks at regular intervals – not just at the points where it is sea-fastened.
Following this incident both winches have been removed from the vessel and are no longer retained for use by the Contractor.
16 March 2009
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