Bulletin No.: 01/1995

Date (Y-M-D): 1995-01-09

Subject: High Intensity Floodlights

A recent incident on board a Canadian Registered vessel resulted in a fire and casualty caused by the apparent improper use and poorly maintained floodlight fixture.

It appears that a high intensity halogen floodlight certified for outdoor permanent mounting was used as a temporary portable fixture in the unloading tunnel of the vessel. The tempered glass lens of the fixture was missing. In this particular incident pressurized hydraulic fluid sprayed from a joint thereby forming a flammable mist. This flammable mist ignited when it came contact with the naked lamp in the fixture. Tests conducted on a similar fixture indicated the lamp and the lens reached temperatures which exceeded the flash point of the hydraulic mist. The fire that resulted caused substantial damage to the ship and the death of one crew member.

There were a number of factors which contributed to this incident:

  1. hydraulic oil leak from a high pressure line
  2. poorly maintained floodlight
  3. incorrect selection of a type of floodlight
    1. high operating temperature of the fixture
    2. fixture was certified as an outdoor type

In view of the above Ship Safety Branch advises all vessel operators and maintenance personnel of the following:

  1. Ship Safety Electrical Standards TP 127 Section 18 (4) does not permit portable equipment to be used whereby the temperature of the parts that can be handled exceeds 60oC.
  2. All portable equipment should be maintained in a safe working condition.
  3. The selection of the type of equipment to be used in any location should take into account the environment of the space and the design application of the equipment.
  4. Fixtures installed in an area where there is a risk of spray or readily combustible material should be totally enclosed.

Keywords:                                  Questions concerning this bulletin should be addressed to:

Transport Canada
Marine Safety
Tower C, Place de Ville
11th Floor, 330 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N8

To add or change your address, contact us at: marinesafety@tc.gc.ca

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