Catastrophic failure of marine loading arm
Marine loading arms (MLAs) are commonly used throughout UK ports and jetties to load and unload liquids and compressed gas products from river barges, ships, and tankers. Evidence obtained during an HSE investigation of a failed MLA revealed concerns that not all components were being suitably inspected and maintained due to problems accessing the highest pivot joint.
The lack of lubrication of this greased joint presents a serious risk of the joint failing with the potential for the complete collapse of the arm, leading to possible death, serious injury or damage to process equipment, and subsequent loss of containment.
Anyone using or servicing MLAs should check, review and identify inspection and maintenance work required by the manufacturer and industry guidance. Plan how the work will be conducted (including the parts that are difficult to access) and ensure it is completed. Records should be kept, and outstanding actions should be followed up.
Please click the link for the full Safety Alert: https://tinyurl.com/2f3aw73k
We are grateful to The UK Health and Safety Executive for providing details of this incident and acknowledge their commitment to sharing learning to benefit others.
If you have similar operations, please share this information with managers, operatives, and any potentially affected third parties as appropriate. Please also review any of your relevant operations for similar hazardous conditions, risks, and controls.
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