The shipping industry does not need more regulation, but a more thorough understanding of the current regulations and a more efficient safety culture to implement the existing regulatory framework, especially when it comes to enclosed space entry, was a key message by shipping experts in the latest SAFETY4SEA Athens Forum.
enclosed space entry
This time, our special column, in association with The North of England P&I Club, gives emphasis on enclosed space entry. The dangers of enclosed space entry on board ships is rising as the hidden enemy for crews, with human element failures often considered as a key cause, including; fatigue, complacency and cutting corners. These highlight improper training, insufficient hazard awareness, and perhaps a need for enclosed spacer entry to be reviewed further more. In this regard, we asked global experts to share their views on the following question: Does enclosed space entry need more regulation?
In the following article, InterManager Secretary General, Captain Kuba Szymanski, discusses the problems associated with working in enclosed spaces onboard ships and considers what measures the industry needs to take to save lives.
Apart from the common occupational health and safety issues, risk remains high for people working onboard as they may be exposed to gases or vapors that are poisonous. In this respect, crew members working with dangerous goods should adhere strictly to basic safety precautions.
In its latest ‘Lessons learned’ article, the UK P&I Club analyzes an enclosed space fatality onboard a bulk carrier. The investigation found that the void space, where the fatality occurred, had not been opened for about 6 months and was not fitted with any natural ventilation.
Enclosed space rescue drills often lead to injuries and fatal incidents, either it’s because of lack of safety measures or lack of oxygen. Gard supports that preparedness comes with regular training and practice during the drills and recommends that time based goals should be set during enclosed space entry drills so that the crew understands the associated risks.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime Administrator informed of another two recent enclosed space entry deaths onboard an RMI-registered bulk carrier. This comes in addition to four associated deaths of seafarers on two RMI-flagged ships in 2018.
Injury or death due to oxygen deficiency is a common hazard in the maritime industry. An oxygen-deficient atmosphere has less than 19.5% available oxygen (O2) and any atmosphere with less than 20.8 % oxygen should not be entered.
InterManager conducted a survey focusing on the danger of enclosed spaces aboard vessels. InterManager published the results and the feedback of the survey to highlight the risks hiding in that sector of the shipping industry, while also alert the industry eradicate these risks.
The Hong Kong Marine Department (MARDEP) informed of a fatal fall of a bosun onto the cargo hold bottom while onboard a general cargo ship. MARDEP noted a lack of compliance with safety procedures and unfamiliarity with entry into enclosed spaces.
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