Wednesday, December 15, 2010

TOXIC CARGO SPILL, CHEMICAL TANKERS -- CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL




         

No specific instructions can be given for a toxic chemical spill. The master and senior officers must give specific instructions on what need to be done in only after consultation with MSDS sheets.

To prevent escalation of a TOXIC spillage, the leakage should be nipped in the bud ASAP. The basis here is prevention is better than cure. This can be done safely and easily if crew is wearing proper PPE and is trained to repond to such a scenario. Depending upon the nature of the chemical and the volume spilled additional actions will be required. These may be either containment or drenching with water. Specific procedures are given in individual MSDS sheets.

To keep a contaminated area as small as possible it is important to contain the spillage. Remember that containment is not the same as absorption. Responders should also be aware of the dangers of the containment area. e.g. a surface may become slippery, the atmosphere might be choking,  etc. the footwear must be compatible with the chemical.

Some products, due to specific hazards, are better drenched away with water without delay in order to dilute the spillage rapidly. Special care must be taken in such circumstances to minimise environmental damage. Organic vapor cartridges are no use for inorganic vapors.

For all products with a flash point below 60°C, it is important to continuously monitor for the possible presence of an explosive mixture with air. Intrinsically safe equipment is necessary to prevent ignition by the emergency teams.

As a precaution against untoward poisoning of emergency responders, it is better that food or water is not consumed without permission.

After containment of a liquid spill, it may be necessary to absorb the product, especially if recovery is not possible.

If high VP chemicals  are likely to affect beyond the immediate area of spillage, guidance must be given to disperse vapor mist with water spray after observing the direction of wind. Do not allow water spray to come into contact with the liquid product and worsen the situation.

All personnel involved in handling toxic chemicals must be instructed concerning its   characteristics of including:

Chemical properties. Procedures in case of spills. Fire fighting.
Med treatment in case of exposure.

Emergency measures in case of internal leaks and/or reaction (polymerization).

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS HOSE BURST ( large toxic spill ) :

It is hoped that by following procedures in this Chemical Handbook these types of incidents will be avoided. Should they occur, depending on the cargo involved, some or all of the following risks may be present.--

Pollution
Toxic vapors
Inflammable vapors
Corrosive liquid
Water reactive cargo

The person discovering the toxic spill must remain clear of the area and be upwind.
Shut down all cargo operations immediately.
Raise alarm
The OOW must inform the Master and sound emergency alarm.
Activate spill response team.
Clear all non-essential people
Collect liquid in compatible containers only
Use non sparking tools
Recirc accommodation airconditioning ( make sure there is no vaccum in accommodation by putting off toilet and galley exhausts after stopping cooking )
Smoking ban on board ordered.
Master must immediately consult MSDS sheets. Some chemicals cannot be absorbed in sawdust—only dry sand , vermiculite can be used.
Keep antidote kit ready.
Call  teminal and ask for emg response like firefighting, ambulance etc .
Call agent.
It is important to restrict ventilation to ER in an intelligent manner.
If the wind is blowing towards the accommodation and engine room it may be necessary to use a water curtain to knock down vapor.
Keep all personnel upwind.
Pressurize fire line.
Try out shower and eye wash
Use SCBA and chemical suits to contain the spillage.
Use wilden pump to transfer to an earmarked tank
Keep oxygen resuscitator/ guedel airway ready
All crew to have their EEBD in readiness.
In case crew gets gassed give milk to drink.
If the chemical has low FP avoid any sparks.
Prepare to disconnect hoses— due to possibility of fire.
Keep portable foam applicator ready to blanket if required.
Get ships engines ready.
Rig up pilot ladder and sea side gangway.
Notify company, port and local authorities as per ERP list / SMPEP/ VRP   Broadcast a warning if it poses a warning to the ships in vicinity.
Inform port authorities,
Dispose off contained chemical in a proper manner.

Anybody exposed to toxic vapor must be removed to fresh air. If breathing has stopped, use oxygen inhalation. If ingested, make victim vomit, at least 2-3 times, and then give the victim a tablespoon of Epsom salt in glass of water. Eye contact: Immediately flush eyes gently with water for 15 minutes. Hold the eyelids away from the eyeball, moving eye in all directions to wash thoroughly behind the eyelids. Use eyewash for this purpose.
Remove contaminated clothing immediately. Wash skin with soap and water after removing finger rings. It may be necessary to cut the clothes off in some instances to prevent contamination of the eyes.

A typical toxic spill control kits will include:

Spill control pillows. These can be used to absorb solvents, acids, alkalis but not hydrogen fluoride. Inert absorbents such as vermiculite, clay, sand, kitty litter and oil-dri.
Neutralizing agents for acid spills such as sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Neutralizing agents for alkali spills such as sodium bisulfate or citric acid.
Plastic scoops and other equipment such as brooms, pails, bags, dust pans, etc., as appropriate.
Appropriate warnings, barricade tapes and protection against slips or falls on wet decks during and after clean up episodes.
For spills on clothes, don't attempt to wipe the clothes. Quickly begin showering while removing all
contaminated clothing, shoes and jewelry. It may be necessary to cut the clothes off in some instances to prevent contamination of the eyes.
Do not use creams, lotions or salves.
Avoid breathing the vapors of spill.
Contaminated clothes should be laundered separately from other clothing.
For splashes into the eye, immediately flush with tepid potable water for at least 15 minutes. Hold the eyelids away from the eyeball, moving eye in all directions to wash thoroughly behind the eyelids.
Use eyewash for this purpose.

You should NOT clean up a spill if:

You don’t know what the spilled material is.
You lack the necessary protection or equipment to do the job safely.
The spill is too large to contain .
The spilled material is highly toxic . You feel any symptoms of exposure .


BREAKAWAY FROM JETTY:

This could be the result ofball moorings snapping as a result of high winds or unobstructed  swell or high speed passing ships or even sabotage of jetty mooring hooks enmasse .

Ask for a tug to push ship alongside berth from amidship , use additional moorings or anchor ( if it is safe ) till you disconnect cargo hoses. 

Keep the engines ready for immediate manoevere. 

Keep ETA (emg  towing arrangement ) ready.

Do not restart cargo till a risk assessment is made and the root cause is established  and preventive measures are taken. The restart of cargo will be regarded as a “ new operation” .

Follow the procedures outlined in SMPEP/ VRP.

HULL LEAK:

Stop cargo immediately.
Inform Engine room.
Muster for ERP response.
Do a risk assessment as per SMS.
Assess rate and position of leak on hull.
Read MSDS sheets.
Refer to SMPEP /VRP. 
Inform DPA.
Transfer the leaking tank to other tanks.
If the cargo is not water soluble or reactive try to use sea water to stop leakage of chemical into sea. This ballast water contained in the tank is to be considered dirty ballast and must be processed accordingly.
In case of toxic, or flammable cargo take appropriate precautions.
Evaluate if shore support is necessary (for transferring the cargo to another ship, for sea cleaning, for stability and stress calculations etc.)
Fix vessel’s position on Chart and, if deemed necessary, broadcast navigational warnings.
Check state of the tide.
Check weather forecasts.
interested parties.
P&I Club attendance / report.
Enter facts in deck and log books



         No.
Action
Tick

WHEN A CHEMICAL CARGO OVERFLOWS ON A PARCEL TANKER, THERE WILL BE SEVERE DANGER DUE TO TOXIC, INFLAMMABLE, CARCINOGENIC, BIOACCUMULATIVE , CORROSIVE VAPOURS.  THE SPILT LIQUID MAY BE WATER REACTIVE .  IT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT HAS SPILT AND THEN TO READ THE MSDS SHEETS.  ON CHEMICAL TANKERS WE DO NOT RUSH HELTER SKELTER WITH FIXED DUTIES , LIKE ON OIL TANKERS.  WE DO NOT EXPECT CREW TO ENDANGER THEIR LIVES TO PREVENT POLLUTION.  THE PERSON FIRST DISCOVERING THE SPILL MUST REMAIN CLEAR OF THE AREA AND UPWIND

1
Raise alarm internal and external
2
Shut down all cargo operations immediately
3
Put off accommodation exhaust fans and shut AC fresh air intake immediately
4
Crew to must at emg HQ, using wind to advantage and taking cabin EEBD along
5
Clear on non-essential people
6

FOR TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE CHEMICAL
7
Broadcast a warning if the chemical will affect terminal staff and nearby ships
8
Spill response party to wear SCBA sets and gas suits .
9
Restrict ventilation to ER in an intelligent manner, use water curtain if required
10
Inform all relevant parties as per ship/shore check list and ERP list
11
Collect liquid in compatible containers
12
Use non-sparking tools if chemical has low FP
13
Check if chemical is non-oxidising , and can be absorbed in sawdust
14
Use absorbents from SMPEP locker
15
Keep antidote kits and geudel airway, ambu bag and oxygen resuscitator ready
16
Try out shower and eye wash
17
Use wilden pump to transfer to a compatible tank
18
In case crew gets gasses give milk to drink
19
Prepare to disconnect hoses if there is possibility of fire
20
Keep foam applicator ready to blanket the area, in case wind is adverse
21
Get engines ready
22
Rig up pilot ladder and seaside gangway
23
Dispose off contained liquid in a proper manner
24
Remove all contaminated clothing after job is over.

Notes:

A typical toxic spill control kits will include:---
Spill control pillows to absorb solvents, acids, alkalis .
Inert absorbents such as vermiculite, clay, sand, kitty litter and oil-dri.
Neutralizing agents for acid spills such as sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate.
Neutralizing agents for alkali spills such as sodium bisulfate or citric acid.
Plastic scoops and other equipment such as brooms, pails, bags, dust pans, etc., as appropriate.
Appropriate warnings, barricade tapes and protection against slips or falls on wet decks during and after clean up episodes.
For spills on clothes, don't attempt to wipe the clothes. Quickly begin showering while removing all
contaminated clothing, shoes and jewelry. It may be necessary to cut the clothes off in some instances to prevent contamination of the eyes.
Do not use creams, lotions or salves.
Avoid breathing the vapors of spill from clothes.
Contaminated clothes should be laundered separately from other clothing.
For splashes into the eye, immediately flush with tepid potable water for at least 15 minutes. Hold the eyelids away from the eyeball, moving eye in all directions to wash thoroughly behind the eyelids. Use eyewash for this purpose.

You should NOT clean up a spill if:

You don’t know what the spilled material i


OR 


you lack the necessary protection 


OR 


equipment to do the job safel


OR 


the spill is too large to contain 


OR 


the spilled material is  highly toxic 


OR 


you feel any symptoms of exposure .



-------CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL ( 28 years in command )

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