UK P&I Club launches Lessons Learnt video on enclosed space refrigeration maintenance incident


UK P&I Club has released its latest video in a series of award-winning reflective training videos, based on a real-life incident where two men narrowly escaped serious injury while testing an emergency fire pump.

The animated video depicts the situation where as part of a third-party survey, the surveyor, with the assistance of the chief engineer, were carrying out a test on the emergency fire pump. This was located in a recessed well in the steering gear compartment, approximately three metres deep and accessed by an inclined stairway.

Shortly after descending into the fire pump well, the chief engineer urgently ordered the surveyor to get out. By the time both men reached the steering compartment deck, they were experiencing symptoms of dizziness, due to exposure to diffused Freon refrigerant gas, with the chief engineer in a state of near collapse. They were taken on deck into fresh air by other crew members and recovered soon afterwards.

An investigation into the incident revealed that maintenance had recently been carried out on the provision store refrigeration machinery located in the steering flat. During this work, Freon refrigerant gas from the plant must have been released into the space and migrated into the pump well displacing breathable air.

Stuart Edmonston, Loss Prevention Director at UK P&I Club, said:

“While in this case both men were able to escape from the space unharmed, incidents like these, which are often fatal, are still too common across the maritime industry. If the ladder had not been inclined but vertical, as is more usually the case, they may not have exited the well before passing out.

“The purpose of our interactive training videos is to improve standards and safety at sea, prompting crew and ship operators to question and evaluate if such incidents could happen on their ship, and how they can greatly decrease the risks.”

The series of videos provide an interactive training experience with a focus on educating crew members on common marine accidents or oversights and how to mitigate the risk of them occurring. Hosted across Thomas Miller websites, the videos are available to view for training purposes by both marine employers and their employees.
Source: UK P&I Club



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