Lessons Learnt: Hand Injury in Medical Airlock

Credits: Flavio Gasperini/Unsplash

IMCA, in its Safety Events, reports of a hand injury in medical airlock.

What happened

An LST (Life Support Technician) suffered a finger injury whilst operating the medical airlock (“Med-lock”) on a dive chamber. The LST (Life Support Technician) was closing the Med-lock door but was unable to rotate the door to the fully closed position, indicating that the hatch needed to rotate further clockwise. The LST attempted to rotate the hatch counterclockwise in order to be able to open the door and inspect it. The Med-lock was stiff to rotate. For leverage to assist with rotating the Med-lock, the LST placed his hand on the flat bars that brace the operating wheel. The hatch moved suddenly and because his hands were on the brace and not on the wheel itself, his hand got pinched between the brace and the Med-lock door hinge plate, causing an injury.

What went wrong

The hatch was stiff, and the LST had his fingers in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lessons learnt

  • Maintain proper lubrication on the door. Added Med-lock maintenance to planned maintenance programme.
  • Added warning signage to the Med-Lock, for appropriate hand placement, along with clear instructions.
  • Updated the vessel familiarization to include Med-lock operations and demonstrate operations.

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Source: IMCA