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Lessons learned: Unintentional CO2 release

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The Nautical Institute has issued a Mars Report as follows:

On a towboat, a vessel crew member intended to test the emergency fuel oil shut-off cables. He opened the panel door that contained both the emergency fuel oil shut-off and the CO2 release handles. He activated what he thought was the fuel oil shut-off but instead the CO2 was released.

Fortunately, the audible alarm system and release time delay functioned as intended, allowing personnel to safely evacuate the machinery spaces prior to the CO2 discharge.

Lessons learned
  • Emergency systems should be designed with human factors in mind; they must be logically understood and easily operated during high stress situations.
  • System training should provide the familiarity needed during an emergency or other situations.
  • Pre-test coordination and review of procedures will minimise accidental and potentially fatal discharges.

Source: Nautical Institute

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