Lessons learned: Specific toolbox talks should be carried out before starting work

The incident

A worker broke his finger whilst working on an ROV. The incident occurred during ROV maintenance when he was single-handedly removing a bumper bar located above head height.

As IMCA explained, during the process, the bumper bar snagged on the ROV structure.

This required the injured person (a short service employee) to free it by hand. The weight of the bumper bar (approximately 29kg) was more than the the employee had anticipated, therefore he was unable to support it.

As a result, his right hand ring finger was bent backwards by the falling bumper bar, resulting in a metacarpal fracture

Lessons learned:

  • Ensure your tasks are sufficiently risk assessed and planned – have you got the right people tools and equipment available? Are the work instructions clear?
  • Ensure the task is adequately supervised to ensure it happens safely and under control.
  • Ensure that everyone involved – especially short service employees or third party contractors are competent: fully inducted, supported and mentored, even if they have previous industry sector and/or company experience.
  • Communicate!! task specific toolbox talks should be carried out before starting work.

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