IMCA Safety Flash 08/09

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Near Miss – Dropped Clump Weight

A member has reported an incident in which a clump weight was inadvertently dropped to the seabed. The incident occurred during diving operations when operating a deck mounted tool deployment A-frame which incorporated two tugger winch systems and a downline powered sheave. Each tugger winch wire had an 88kg clump weight attached. One tugger was operational, deployed subsea with a downline secured to the wire at 10m intervals and the other inactive with the clump weight suspended just below the snatch block.

While recovering the tugger wire with downline to the surface, it was noticed that the winch wire clump weight could potentially foul the guard rails on the A-frame. The decision was made to boom out the A-frame further. As the A-frame was boomed out, the clump weight on the inactive wire rode up into the snatch block (because the tugger winch was not paid out as the boom was extended). The winch wire parted and the clump weight dropped to the seabed.
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Reintroduction of Personal Locator Beacons on Helicopter Flights

Members’ attention is drawn to the attached announcement from Oil & Gas UK regarding recent developments with personal locator beacons (PLBs) for passengers in helicopters, which states that it has been agreed that PLBs should be reintroduced on offshore helicopter flights from mid-July. This follows an earlier announcement from the UK Civil Aviation Authority stopping the use of PLBs, which was covered in IMCA safety flash 05-09.
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A member has reported an incident in which a person was injured in a fall from a different level. A saturation diver used the transfer under pressure (TUP) access hatch to come out of the saturation chamber while unloading equipment. To re-enter the chamber the diver held on to the top dogging bar of the chamber. The dogging bar rotated towards him causing him to lose his grip and fall approximately five feet on to the bell skid leading to muscle contusion and hairline fractures of his right forearm and right thigh.
A member has reported that a diver has sustained a serious Sodasorb burn to his wrist.
After investigation by the member, the following was found:
♦ The spare bell scrubber basket had been filled with Sodasorb and sealed in a polythene bag which was in the bell for two days before it was used. During this period it appears that seawater had entered the container;
♦ When the diver lifted the basket, liquid ran out causing chemical burns to his wrist, the severity of which required that the diver be decompressed;
♦ The polythene bag had either not been properly sealed or had been damaged.
It is recommended that the polythene bag should be checked for seal and integrity before use, ensuring that it stays dry and that dive team members are reminded of the importance of safe handling practices of Sodasorb and other diving system chemicals.

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