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Crew member struck-by grease fitting during maintenance of vessel steering quadrant - Alaska.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 96AK045, 1997 Aug; :1-3
On November 8, 1996, a 48-year-old male crew member (the victim) died from injuries after he was struck by a grease fitting propelled through the air while performing maintenance on a vessel steering quadrant. The victim was part of a six-person crew of a fishing vessel performing various duties including routine maintenance and repair of the vessel's equipment. At the time of the incident, the vessel was moored at a local harbor. The victim had been on duty for 2 hours and was completing maintenance on the steering quadrant and related assembly in the vessel's aft (rear) storage compartment (lazarette). As part of the maintenance procedure, the victim was greasing the rudder shaft by pumping grease into the rudder shaft tube (or trunk). Assuming the grease connector (or zirk) had malfunctioned, the victim attempted to remove the grease fitting from the trunk. The grease fitting struck and entered the victim near the center of his chest. The victim was able to climb to the vessel deck where he collapsed. Co-workers radioed for emergency medical services. Due to the condition of the victim and the nature of his injury, he was transported by the responding police officer to the local medical clinic. The victim was pronounced dead at the medical clinic. It is surmised that the victim thought the grease fitting had failed and attempted to remove it without realizing the pressure exerted from the grease within the rudder shaft tube. Based on the findings of the investigation, to prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure training for inspection, maintenance, and repair procedures; 2. encourage workers to actively participate in workplace safety.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Maintenance-workers; Training; Fishing-industry
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
FACE-96AK045; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
NAICS-11; NAICS-1141
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division