August 8, 2008 | Barb Carr

Confined Space Accident

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) in the UK issued a report in July 2008 into the deaths of three crew onboard Viking Islay on 29 September 2007. According to the report, the oxygen-deficient atmosphere within the chain locker was caused by natural ongoing corrosion of the steel structure and anchor chain within the space. The investigation found other deficiencies as well including a failed confined space audit program. Looking at a brief sequence of events listed below, think about your company’s confined space program.

1. Two of the vessel’s seamen went forward with the intention of securing a rattling anchor chain within the chain locker.

2. One of the seamen entered the chain locker and collapsed.

3. The second seaman entered the chain locker in an attempt to help his companion. He also collapsed.

4. The first rescuer found he was unable to enter the chain locker wearing a BA, and he, therefore, donned an EEBD.

5. He entered the space, but at some point, the hood of the EEBD was removed or became dislodged and this rating also collapsed.

6. All three seamen died as a result of an oxygen-deficient atmosphere within the chain locker.

When is the last time you audited your confined space program? How in-depth was it? What did you look for? How did you select what to look for? TapRooT® Users have been trained in audit procedures to ensure that all basic cause categories are reviewed prior to signing off an audit as acceptable. If you would like to know more, contact us at 865.539.2139.

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