202305- Fixed CO2 system serviced yet left unserviceable

30 Jan 2023 MARS

A vessel underwent a routine firefighting equipment survey. All equipment was fully inspected, and any faults or non-conformities were apparently rectified. The fixed CO2 system had reached its 10 year service life interval, so the flexible hoses were renewed and replaced.

As edited from Marine Safety Forum Safety Alert 22-10

In order for the survey to be conducted in a safe manner, the safety pins were inserted on the cylinder activators before the survey began. After the survey, the pins should have been removed from the activators to make the system ready for use. Unfortunately, the contractor left them in place, and the crew did not immediately notice this misstep.

Almost four weeks later, a regular crew change took place, and the new officers made a routine inspection of the vessel. During this inspection, it was noticed that the safety pins were still in place. The pins were removed to ensure the CO2 system would function as required if needed.

Lessons learned

  • Work is only complete when the isolations are removed, and the permit can be closed.
  • Never assume that all will be well after private contractors finish a job. Assumption is the pathway to undesired events. Always check and verify. It is your ship.
  • Fresh eyes can often see a dangerous condition that was in plain sight. Do a round of your vessel and ask yourself ‘Am I using “fresh eyes”?