Real Life Incident: Shocking Accident Sheds Light On Best Practices

A vessel was undergoing hold cleaning. A crew member needed better lighting, and decided to connect a cargo cluster light in the hold to improve visibility. As he connected the cluster to the electrical outlet he received a severe electrical shock.

He was shifted to the ship’s hospital in a semi-conscious state where further medical treatment was given. After some time he regained consciousness and was feeling better.

real life incident_plug
Image Credits: nautinst.org

On investigation, it was found that:

  • The crew member’s hands and clothes were wet, because hold cleaning was in progress
  • The plug unit cover was Ina short (grounded) state
  • The plug unit was made of brass
  • Proper insulated lugs were not used for the connecting wires inside the plug socket. One of the wires was not connected properly, causing it to touch the brass metal body of the plug unit.

Lessons teamed

  • An earth cable should always be properly connected inside the socket at all times. R (circle) type insMated cable lugs should be used to connect the wires to the socket.
  • If plug sockets are made of conducting material, the inside edge frames should be covered with insMated rubber packing and the wire connections should be covered with insulation tape.
  • Ideally, all cargo cluster plugs should be of non-conducting material. Receptacles and switches should be fit for marine use. I Electrical appliances should never be handled with wet hands.

Reference: nautinst.org

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