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20 Sept 2012

Category   Personal injury - illness
Vessel type All
Issue date 20/09/2012
Case number 201241

The below Case study has been taken from: Nautical Institute’s Mars Reporting Scheme

The incident
The cook was shallow frying vegetables in the galley. When transferring the raw, cut vegetables into the heated oil in the saucepan from above, most of the vegetables fell as a large lump. This resulted in the oil splashing out and some of it entering the cook’s right eye. The cook immediately washed the affected eye with cold running water, and thinking his self-administered first aid was sufficient, failed to report the incident for several days until the eye developed a blister and became painful. He was given more treatment on board and sent for follow-up treatment ashore at the next port.

Result of investigation
As the incident was not reported for several days, it is presumed that one or more of the following situations may have existed and  contributed to the incident:

  • Excessive quantity of frying fat in the pan/wok.
  • Momentary lapse of concentration on the part of the cook.
  • Allowing raw food to drop into hot oil from an unsafe height instead of transferring it by means of ladle or spoon.

Corrective/preventative actions
The incident report was circulated to the fleet, reminding crews that:

  • It is important to report injuries immediately after occurrence, regardless of degree
  • Potential chronic/delayed damage can occur with eye injuries, especially if first aid is not administered immediately
  • The galley is one of the high risk areas on board ship
  • The importance of wearing proper personnel protective equipment appropriate to the task in hand
  • They must be aware of hazards and injury risks in the galley.