At about 0830 on 8 July 2010, a crew member on board the multipurpose ship Cape Darnley was fatally injured following an explosion that occurred while he was attempting to cut the top off a 200 litre steel drum. When the oiler touched an angle grinder's spinning cutting disk onto the top of the drum, the heat generated ignited the vapours inside the drum. Once ignited, the rapid expansion of the vapour/air mixture resulted in the drum exploding.
The ATSB investigation found that an appropriate risk analysis was not undertaken and a hot work permit was not completed for the task.
The investigation also found that the oiler was not aware of the ship's work permit requirements or the risks associated with using an angle grinder to cut the top off a closed drum.
The ATSB acknowledges the safety actions taken by the ship's managers to address the two safety issues identified during the investigation.
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The oiler’s actions indicate that he was not aware of the dangers associated with the use of an angle grinder to remove the top of the drum.
|Who it affects:||All seafarers|
The oiler’s actions indicate that he was likely not aware of the ship’s safety management system hot work permit requirements.
|Who it affects:||All ship, owners, operators, managers and seafarers|
|Date:||08 July 2010||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Location:||at sea off Vavouto, New Caledonia||Investigation type:||Occurrence Investigation|
|Release date:||17 February 2011|
|Report status:||Final||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Highest injury level:||Fatal|
|Type of operation||General cargo|
|Damage to vessel||Nil|
|Departure point||Vavouto, New Caledonia|