It has been almost 12 years since the enclosed space fatality incident onboard the ERRV vessel Viking Islay off UK that shocked shipping community as three men died successively trying to rescue one another. Enclosed space entry has been over the years the hidden enemy for crews.
enclosed space entry
Peter Hazell, Assistant Vice President, Head of FDD Skuld, focused on the various incidents concerning former coal fired power stations that have started to burn biomass as feedstock in order to enhance sustainability of fuel sources. This results to shipments of wood pellets intended to be burned. Most of these shipments are executed without incident but there are significant hazards associated with the carriage of wood pellets.
The Hong Kong Marine Department informs of an incident where a stevedore mistakenly entered a fumigated cargo hold of a Hong Kong registered bulk carrier and was later found lying on the spiral ladder of the cargo hold. The stevedores were lack of safety awareness of confined space entry and they were not familiar with the working environment on board the vessel.
Enclosed space fatalities continue, as shipping lacks a thorough understanding of the risks faced by today’s seafarers while shipping industry investigations encourage a ‘blame culture’, according to a study by shipmanagement trade association InterManager.
The ITF underlined a shocking spike in deaths in confined spaces, as a workplace hazard long familiar to the shipping industry. Since January 2018, 16 dockers and 12 seafarers have died from asphyxiation or explosions in confined spaces – or from falls after passing out due to bad air.
The Swedish Accident Investigation Authority published its report on the death of a casual labourer from oxygen deficiency when he entered an unventilated spiral ladder leading down to one of the cargo holds. The probable cause was a combination of being unaware of the risks, because of lack of training and experience in discharging coal.
The USCG has issued a Safety Alert on the dangers of confined space entry , in light of a recent casualty where three people were asphyxiated on a drilling rig (MODU). The Coast Guard says that Studies have shown that people often miss the obvious cues of a situation while under stress and because their focus is upon another effort or action that needs to be accomplished.
Transport Malta’s MSIU issued an investigation report on the fatality of a stevedore onboard the bulk carrier ‘A Navigation’, while in the port of Kelang, Malaysia, on 1st April 2018. The incident stressed hazards associated with enclosed space entry.
Martin Øhre, Maritime Trainee at Skuld Club, touches upon the matter of enclosed space entry. Mr. Øhre notes that failure to comply with company procedures regarding entry into enclosed spaces can be fatal, while hazards such as oxygen depletion or carbon monoxide exposure are among the most common causes.
During the 2019 SAFETY4SEA Cyprus Conference, Mr. David Nichol, Senior Loss Prevention Executive, UK P&I Club, focused on accidents relating to entry into enclosed spaces onboard ships, which ‘continue to blight the shipping industry’. The dangers associated with enclosed spaces are well known – so why the unremitting level of casualties?
Jamaica declares seafarers as essential workers10/08/2020
Mauritius declares environmental emergency after MV Wakashio spill10/08/2020
Pirates release abducted offshore crew10/08/2020
- Maritime Knowledge
The most common personal injuries onboard: Risks and best practice10/08/2020
BIMCO: Shipbuilding orderbook hits 17-year low10/08/2020
AB injured during maintenance job after no review and risk assessment10/08/2020
- Maritime Health
Update August 10: Live map depicts spread of coronavirus10/08/2020
AMSA fines company for unlawfully operating domestic commercial vessel07/08/2020
US cruise operators voluntarily suspend voyages until at least October 3107/08/2020
Pilot loses life after falling from pilot ladder07/08/2020