Water Jet Fatality in Hold Cleaning Operation
Local media in Sao Paolo, Brazil report that investigators are looking into a fatal accident aboard the bulker Ocean Phoenix. A contractor, Vanderley Ferreira da Silva, was killed by a high pressure water jet, which reportedly penetrated his thigh and severed his femoral artery.
da Silva was reportedly an experienced water jet operator for a local industrial cleaning company specializing in ship's holds and shipping containers.
"Everything leads us to believe that it was an accident with a high pressure jet, which was enough to break through the femoral artery," said police spokesman Dirceu Lopes, speaking to A Tribuna. "We are evaluating possible criminal liability with a possible indictment for manslaughter, but it's still early," he added.
The Phoenix remains pierside in Sao Paolo.
Fatal industrial water jet accidents are not common but they do occur; the most powerful jets have enough force to cut wood or concrete, and they penetrate skin easily. Australian authorities initiated a review of industrial regulations following a 2008 incident in a cleaning operation in which a worker lost control of the lance and was struck in the chest. Special protective equipment and careful operating practices are recommended to avoid injury.