202131 Grinding wheel shatters causing injury

01 Jun 2021 MARS 2021

An electrician was assigned to repair an electrical deficiency in the grinder used for main engine exhaust valve maintenance. Following the repairs, the grinding stone shattered during final checks and testing. One of the pieces hit the electrician’s forehead. First aid was quickly provided on board and the victim was sent to a doctor ashore upon arrival. The electrician was fit for duty within a few days. The company investigation revealed that the electrician had worn a safety helmet but it had not been secured with the strap. The flying projectiles had hit the helmet and dislodged it, allowing injury. A face shield had not been worn either.

Lessons learned

  • Grinders turn at high speed and even if they have their own built-in shields, crew should always wear face protection when using them.
  • Grinding wheels and discs can shatter – be aware of this and use PPE appropriately.