It is known that too many lives are lost unnecessarily when seafarers or shore-based personnel enter enclosed spaces on board ships. In light of the situation, the International Group of P&I Clubs launched a safety animation in an effort to help prevent the loss of life in enclosed spaces onboard.
In fact, the International Group produced a safety training animation that draws attention to the risk of entering such spaces without first taking preventive and protective measures.
To remind, back in 2016, the International Maritime Organization forced a regulation aimed at protecting seafarers who need to enter enclosed spaces, by requiring ships to carry portable atmosphere testing equipment on board.
However, despite the safety requirements required by the above-mentioned regulation, all Group Clubs continue to see fatalities caused by oxygen depletion in confined or enclosed spaces on ships.
Therefore, the safety animation highlights the importance of observing the statutory requirements described in SOLAS and compliance with best practice procedures onboard ships, to mitigate the risk of further unnecessary deaths.
For the record, an International Group research revealed that during the period of 2015 to 2020, of the 83 deaths that occurred in enclosed spaces, 53% of deaths were due to oxygen depletion and over 60% of the incidents were located in the cargo hold.
The overriding message, running throughout the video, is Stop, Think, Stay Alive. Namely, the six acts comprise:
- External Pressure
External pressure to get a job done can lead to a failure to fully assess the risks involved. Do not undertake a task unless there is a sufficient time and resources to complete it safely.
- Time Pressure
Trying to get a job quickly can result in poor decision making. Never rush a task or miss safety critical steps due to time pressure.
- Procedures, Practices and Equipment
Although your professional experience is valuable, best practice, company procedures and safety equipment are there to keep you safe. Don’t disregard best practice or bypass you company procedures, just because you’ve never had an incident before.
- Preparation and Communication
Everyone involved needs to be confident in what is happening, in their experience to do the job and in the energency responses. Make sure everyone is properly prepared for the task in hand.
- Unsafe Situations
Everyone is responsible for safety. It is essential that a culture exists where everyone onboard feels able to speak up and stop the job if they think something is unsafe. In fact, speaking up could save a life.
- Emergency Drills
Despite your training, it is difficult to predict how you might respond in an emergency. Regular and realistic rescue drills will help you react safely.
Stop. Think. Never neglect your own safety.
Following the above, Director of Loss Prevention at Standard Club, Captain Yves Vandenborn, said:
“It has been a pleasure working together with the other clubs in the International Group of P&I clubs to produce this very informative video on the risks associated with entry into enclosed spaces. It is regrettable that we continue seeing regular casualties occurring as a result of improper entry procedures. This video has a very catchy message which will stick with the viewers and make them think twice before entering any enclosed space.”