Incident Report: R/V Manta Personnel Injury
This incident report is submitted pursuant to Section 17.01a of the NOAA Small Boat Standards and Procedures Manual that states the affected Program Director (or designee) shall notify the Line Office Small Boat Officer and Safety and Environmental Compliance Office (SECO) Representative of a small boat accident or incident when it involves injury to personnel, or occupational illness.
During a recent ROV cruise aboard the RV MANTA, NOAA R8301, a scientist injured his finger during operations. The scientific trawl winch cable aboard the MANTA had been recently greased, per preventative maintenance standards. The marine grease had rubbed off on the umbilical cable of the ROV. The grease was rather adhesive. Per standard operating procedures, a scientist was helping to tend the ROV umbilical cable, while wearing protective gloves. These gloves were made of nylon, with the palm and fingers dipped in no-slip nitrile. The nitrile of the glove and the adhesive marine grease combined to create an extra sticky residue. While the scientist was tending the ROV umbilical, his finger became stuck to the palm of the glove. In an attempt to release from the grip, he dislocated his finger.
No damage occurred to the vessel or scientific equipment. Crew reset the dislocated finger, provided first aid, and iced the injury.
The marine grease created a sticky condition on the palm of the rubber gloves.
After the incident, all nitrile dipped gloves were removed from use aboard the RV MANTA. All deck operations were switched to using either latex dipped gloves, or synethetic leather gloves. Further, degreasing agents were provided for future operations. In the event the umbilical becomes overly coated again, the degreaser will be used to remove some of the adhesive grease. The protective equipment required while using the degreaser has been identified as disposable gloves, and safety goggles. Lastly, the possibility of this reoccurring will be discussed during future safety briefs before ROV operations.
Submitted by LJTG Dustin R. Picard on 18 October 2017 (updated 21 November 2018)