202045 A few drops of oil show the way to improvement

27 Jul 2020 MARS 2020

A tanker was in port and discharging oil product. During the discharge, deck crew noticed a small leak coming from the manifold reducer. The shore installation was advised and discharging was immediately stopped. The manifold reducer was removed and replaced with another.

A pressure test was carried out and discharging was recommenced. The company investigation found that there was a small groove in the manifold reducer which had caused the leak. It was concluded that the reducer had been installed without proper inspection before use.

Furthermore, it was now understood that by storing the various reducers on a metal rack the reducers were exposed to continuous metal-to-metal contact, thus accelerating rust and associated damage. A wood backing plate or rubber gaskets would reduce these risks.



Lessons learned

  • Often, repeated operations become so commonplace that certain basic precautions can be overlooked, like in this instance inspecting the reducer for damage before installation and use on the manifold.
  • Hazards in plain view! The reducers had always been stored on a metal rack but no one had thought about improving this arrangement until an incident occurred.