Report on Enclosed Space Fatality

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch released the report of its investigation of the fatality on board a passenger ship in Southampton on 11 June 2008. A petty officer was assigned to check the salinity of the water in a ballast tank.  It was assumed that the tank was full.  The petty officer apparently discovered that the tank was almost empty and entered the tank to complete his assignment.  He did so without protective equipment or assistance even though he was aware of and practiced in the ship’s procedures for entering enclosed spaces.  There was insufficient oxygen in the ballast tank due to corrosion of the tank’s steel structure.  Enclosed space fatalities such as this are easily avoidable if owners, operators, masters, and crew focus on basic issues.  Report No. 01/2009 (1/6/09).

 (Source: Holland & Knight)


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