Six people have died from 2009 to 2019 in UK ports while working in enclosed spaces and this is why the UK MCA is currently conducting a consultation on new legislation to tight up safety rules for those working in such spaces onboard vessels.
he proposed changes would replace previous legislation to strengthen protection of those working on ships and fishing vessels from the risks of entry into enclosed spaces through measures, such as emergency drills and providing atmosphere testing equipment.
Under the consultation, which has begun in late May and is expected to last eight weeks, the UK MCA seeks views on the proposed merchant shipping and fishing vessels (entry into enclosed spaces) regulations 2021, which would replace the merchant shipping (entry into dangerous spaces) regulations 1988.
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The public’s views are sought on the implementation of SOLAS amendments into UK legislation, the extension to vessels not currently regulated by SOLAS, as well as the extension to fishing vessels, which means the extension to all merchant ships and fishing vessels operating in UK waters.
The risks from working in enclosed spaces are well known across the shipping world and all of us know that more needs to be done to reduce the number of fatalities. These proposed regulations would replace and extend current legislation which will go right across the merchant sector and demand the same safety requirements for fishing vessels,
…said Katy Ware, Director of UK Maritime Services.
Enclosed spaces include chain lockers, cargo holds, duct keels, and water tanks – or any area that has been left closed for any length of time without ventilation, and constitute a continuous cause of seafarers’ deaths globally.