Alert over life raft issue

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A safety alert has been issued over ropes attacted to life rafts on offshore platforms.

Step Change in Safety posted the notice on its website.

It relates to ‘painter lines’ attaching life rafts to offshore installations.

When pulled, the rope activates the inflation device.

It also acts as a descent guideline to deliver people safely to the floating raft when deployed,

The issue relates to the introduction of an obstruction, for example a knot, forming between the painter line and the extension line which prevents the descent device carabiner from passing over and could potentially cause problems in evacuating to the life raft.

When the life raft is opened, the donut descender will not be able to get closer than 10-15m from the life raft, Step Change said.

The safety ground added: “This alert has been raised to highlight this potential issue with all operators that the UK Health & Safety Executive has advised that they have seen this same issue on a number of platforms.

“It is recommended that all painter and extension lines are checked to ensure that the donut carbineer can be attached and run freely down the painter line without obstruction.

“Ideally the painter line should be attached directly to the platform structure with one continuous length of line. Operators may wish to contact their supplier regarding their particular set-up to seek advice on a suitable and sufficient solution.”