• Published: 17 Dec 2021

Foreign object in eye

Foreign object in eye
Foreign object in eye

Contributing Factor

  • Change management
  • Control of work

Description of Incident

An Able-Bodied Seaman (AB) was carrying out a routine maintenance which changed to include paint chipping. A few hours after the job was completed, he reported a pain in his eye to the Master. Subsequent examination indicated that he had a small piece of debris in his left eye.

Medical assistance was attempted onboard to flush the object out, but this was unsuccessful. The seafarer had to visit hospital to remove the object from his eye. He then returned to the vessel with no further treatment required.

Why did it happen?

  • The seafarer was wearing safety glasses that had been provided by the company and were relevant to the routine maintenance task, however the change of task to chipping would have required a change of safety eye wear to goggles.
  • Despite the the circumstances of the job changing, the job was not stopped nor appropriate risk assessment reviewed.
  • The job was insufficiently planned and the risk assessment in use was generic without adequately addressing all hazards and controls.

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