Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat to seafarers entering toxic enclosed spaces is being compounded, as Standard Club has warned.
It is known that the danger associated with enclosed spaces was always a major safety concern for shipping industry.
However, the number of casualties caused by toxic gases or oxygen depletion has not decreased since the International Maritime Organization introduced measures in 2012 to tackle the problem.
In light of the situation, the Standard Club’s loss-prevention team considers that the pandemic has led to an increased threat to seafarers in the dry bulk trades.
What is more, a study by ITF, revealed a total of 145 casualties in enclosed spaces in the past 20 years. The even alarming fact is that 28 of these casualties happened in the last 16 months.
According to a recent interview of SAFETY4SEA with Capt. Akshat Arora, Standard Club’s Senior Surveyor of Loss Prevention, was noted that there are a number of factors that need to be considered in order to effectively reduce the risks associated with enclosed spaces. One of which is related to the design aspect of confined spaces, i.e. improving the ship’s design to allow easy access, fast evacuation, and quick venting of confined spaces.
To remind, Standard Club has issued a guide concerning enclosed space entry onboard, aiming to assist seafarers to enter enclosed spaces safely and prevent enclosed space-related casualties.