• Published: 26 May 2011
  • Incident ID: 3180

Engine Room Fire on MODU in Australian waters

Cause & Consequence

  • Fire or explosion
Incident Consequence

Incident Location

Any Location Type

Incident Activity

Any Activity Type

Incident Info Source

Specific Incident Equipment

An engine room fire occurred recently onboard a MODU in Australian waters. The fire alarm activated when an engine room heat detector was triggered. The control room operator checked the engine room, saw the fire and raised the general alarm with public address announcements. Lube oil spray in the engine room triggered a motion sensor which in turn caused the engine room closed circuit TV system to record the incident from the time the lube oil spray began and before the lube oil ignited.

Lessons Identified

There was no pre-job planning or job safety analysis carried out for this task. If the job had been discussed and planned beforehand between the Mechanic and his supervisor, the Chief Engineer, the Mechanic’s lack of knowledge of the lube oil priming system may have become apparent. Supervisors should satisfy themselves that their crews are competent to carry out the tasks given to them. There were no signs or instructions provided on the equipment or the engine control panels to indicate that the lube oil priming pump was on a separate circuit from the engine. The provision of the lube oil priming system had been a recent modification. Sufficient information and instructions should be provided for the safe operation of any equipment. This is a clear example of failing to complete a Management of Change process; the actual installation of the lube oil system was completed satisfactorily, but the associated changes to safety management systems were not completed. This incident highlights the importance of emergency response for various scenarios. Practice makes perfect.

Incident Recommendations

Facility operators, and persons in charge of work activities for the relevant stage of the life of the facility, should review their work practices and the handover arrangements to ensure that the facility is safe (will be safe) and without risk to health

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