A painter line attaches the life raft to the installation and, when pulled, activates the inflation. It also acts as a descent guideline to deliver people safely to the floating life raft when deployed.
Only a very small section of painter line (on average approximately 1-2 foot) protrudes from the life raft before opening and, once the life raft is activated, the painter line extends to 10-15m.
An extension piece is normally attached to facilitate connection of the life raft to a secure point on the installation.
The issue relates to the introduction of an obstruction (e.g. a knot) between the painter line and the extension line which prevents the descent device carabiner from passing over and could potentially arrest evacuation to the life raft.
When the life raft is opened, the donut descender will not be able to get closer than 10-15m from the life raft.
This alert has been raised to highlight this potential issue with all operators that the UK Health & Safety Executive has advised that they have seen this same issue on a number of platforms.
It is recommended that all painter and extension lines are checked to ensure that the donut carbineer can be attached and run freely down the painter line without obstruction.
Ideally the painter line should be attached directly to the platform structure with one continuous length of line. Operators may wish to contact their supplier regarding their particular set-up to seek advice on a suitable and sufficient solution.