Tuesday, June 1, 2010




On chemical tankers all should be proactive on matters concerning safety. 

This means you are on the lookout for coming shadows, not at the wake of events. It must be clearly understood that prevention is better than cure. 

A near miss is something which has already happened. An OOW on the bridge does NOT care for fishing  boats in the wake of the ship. 

When working overside, this means--  crew will wear a safety harness , not safety belt.

RISK ASSESSMENT is a tool for the safety of sailors. This sheet of paper is NOT meant for external auditors.  For the matrix to show the reality ( like when crew is going down into the tank for squeegeing ) it must have SEVERITY on X axis and PERIOD OF IMPACT/ CERTAINTY on the Y axis.

Chief officer is the company appointed Safety Officer on dangerous parcel chemical tankers. 

When cargoes with a flashpoint exceeding 60°C are carried at a temperature higher than their flashpoint minus 5°C, the tanks should be maintained in an inert condition, due to the danger of a flammable atmosphere occurring

When loading Carcinogenic, Toxic or Bioaccumulative cargoes, spot checks of vapor concentrations should be carried out with Draeger tubes, to ascertain is TLV-TWA are being exceeded, and if PPE like face filters or SCBA should be worn by watchkeepers. 

The  Vervey’s  tankcleaning  guide  gives  the  VP/TLV  ratio---  anything  more  than  one  is  dangerous requiring the use of Draeger tubes on deck. Epichlorohydrin is 17, Methanol is 0.46 (200/92)

PPE must make allowance for ergonomic demands

Safety lamp must run for 3 hrs.

PPE gloves and boots must electrically non conductive

When you do manifold duty wear face shield

Filter protection must only be used against gases which has a distinctive smell and there is no lack of oxygen. If you can smell gas it means the filter is saturated and is to be discarded.
Class 1/ 1000ppm
Class2/ 5000 ppm
Mark X/ low BP products

Filter masks can be used only 3hrs in a working day.

Turbo filters have a battery powered blower which reduces the work on the lungs.

Use harness not belt.

Air driven lamps. Air supply to be fitted with water traps. Supply hoses of low electrical resistance.

Non ferrous tools not recommended as the working face picks upharder particles which can cause sparks

Undersides of aluminium gangways should be protected by wood/plastic so that they do not leave a smear on rusty steel which can produce an incendive spark.

Toxicity/ sometimes one vapor+ another can become toxic.

Depending on the health hazards on the MSDS sheet use eye goggles, face visor, gloves, chemical suit etc when engaged in cargo work, tankcleaning or handling chemicals.

Be familiar with eye wash and shower arrangements. Eye lids may have to be forced open for proper flushing.

Use splash couplings at the manifold for corrosive/ toxic cargoes.

Do not use SCBA apparatus before conducting the mandatory HP,LP and pressure drop test.

Be familiar with oxygen resuscitator test and guedel airway.

There must be a culture that no sailor takes boiler suits and working shoes to his cabin.

Wash your hands well with soap before meals.

Do not enter the pumproom without informing OOW.

All walkways and deck surfaces must be kept non slip at all times as a policy.

When using MOT ladder the top end shall be securely lashed to the ship.

Shore personnel and visitors must not be allowed enrty in restricted areas without permission from duty officer. CCR is a restricted area.

When seamen work aloft greater than 5 feet they must wear harness

No movement is allowed on deck without helmets and proper footwear.

Seamen shall wear appropriate safety gear like visor , chemical suit etc when working at manifold, stripping and other cargo operations.

Fill up the appropriate company check lists prior starting work.

Do not open any pipeline without depressurizing it first.

When weather is bad follow heavy weather routine.

Crew must be aware of the direction of wind by looking at the anemometer fan on the mast during cargo operations.

No women visitors are allowed ( unless for official purposes )without the permission of master or chief officer.

At doubtful ports a full scale stowaway/ drug search shall be carried out prior sailing.

During loaded passage seamen shall walk on the lee side of main deck to perevent getting injured or washed overboard by waves.

At sea, the Framo power pack in the forecastle shall not be started unless authorized by chief officer. A flooded FP store will cause ship to go off hire.

The crane cannot be topped up at sea without the permission of Chief officer or Master. The hook must have 2 guide lines.

Those not actually involved in a job should still be aware of what is happening, so that they may avoid putting themselves at risk or interfere with an unsafe act before it is too late. All  should care for their own health and safety and for their shipmates. Any serious or imminent danger should be reported immediately to an appropriate officer..

The Master should ensure that every risk to health and safety of persons working aboard ship is properly evaluated.
Walkie-Talkies should be kept in a fully charged condition. Chemical men wear the walkie talkie on their collar bone, so that both hands are free and the speaker is close to the ear.

Leads to portable instruments should not pass through doors in watertight bulkheads or fire door openings when the ship is at sea.
Minor wounds, cuts and abrasions should be treated and dressed at once, for protection against infection.

All must be familiar with eye wash and shower arrangements.

Prolonged exposure to chemicals and solvents may cause dermatitis and other serious skin disorders. All chemical traces should be thoroughly washed from the skin using soap and water. Barrier creams may help protect exposed skin and also make cleaning easier. Never wash your hands in solvents.

Working boilersuits should be laundered frequently in a dedicated washing machine.

Chemical soaked rags should never be put in pockets.

Accidental exposure to toxic chemicals should be reported immediately to a responsible officer for the appropriate remedial action.

Use proper face masks when sweeping health hazardous cargoes like yellow grease ( crushed bone meal ), tallow etc.

High humidity and heat can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke which may be fatal. When working in these conditions during tankcleaning or in port, drink plenty of water in small amounts at frequent intervals.

Mis-use of alcohol affects a person's fitness for duty and harms his health.

Smoking is a practice not very welcome on chemical tankers. It affects work output.
If a load appears too heavy for one man, arrange for assistance. When two or more men are handling a load, it is preferable that they should be of similar height. The actions of lifting, lowering and carrying should, as far as possible, be carried out in unison to prevent strain and overbalance by either person.

Suitable safety shoes should be worn to protect toes from crushing. Sometimes safety shoes can be useful to take the load, when lowering, to allow hands to be withdrawn from underneath , say a reducer.

Clothing should be reasonably close fitting to avoid snagging and also give protection.

The overalls and safety boots supplied on board the vessel are to be worn at all times when working . These garments are to be looked after and not modified in any way like hacking off sleeves etc. Long sleeves afford better protection and should not be rolled up.

Loose clothing, fingers rings and jewellery can be hazardous when working on chemical tankers. Long hair should also be covered.

All personnel must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment.

Goggles  of the appropriate type and as required are to be worn on top of hardhats by deck crew to be used when required at an instant notice.

The correct type of gloves are to be worn to provide protection to the hands. Always consider the type of work to be done and the most suitable gloves. Whilst loose fitting gloves allow hands to slip out quickly they do not allow for good grip when climbing ladders. Wet and oily gloves may be slippery and hazardous to use.

Instruction plates, notices and operating indicators should be kept clean and legible.

Doors, whether open or closed, should be properly secured and never left swinging.
Fire doors and appropriate water tight doors should always be left closed and not secured open.

In carrying out a task, always consider possible related consequences eg; the danger of wash down  spraying onto an electrical switch board.

Where appropriate, warning signs must be posted at tanks which are not safe to enter or is inerted with nitrogen.

IMO Signs and symbols to be  exhibited as required.

Walkway areas should have slip-resistant surfaces. Sand or some other suitable substance should be spread over an area made slippery by snow, ice or water.

Spillages of oil or grease etc., should be cleaned up as soon as possible.

Catwalk gratings shall be adequately maintained.

Permanent fittings which may cause obstruction and be dangerous should be made conspicuous by means of colouring or marking or lighting.

Broken or defective lights or water/ insect logged lights should be reported to the responsible officer and repaired as soon as practicable.

AC on ships must no longer be under 100% recirc , due to vaccum being created by exhaust fans of Galley and sanitary space. The AC fresh air intake if fitted with Gas Detection/ Alarm system , can warn of HC vapour ingress.

Visitors are also  subject to PPE requirements, of Safety helmet ( provided by ship ) and appropriate footwear and clothing.

Lights which are designed to have cage protection should be equipped accordingly.

Defective equipment shall be repaired immediately or locked away and tagged "OUT OF SERVICE DO NOT USE" to avoid accidental use.

Personal oxygen monitors are not intended to be oxygen test meters.

Prior to going on scheduled watch the BAC should be theoretically ZERO.

Emergency shower must be stencilled in bold letters.

Filter mask—full face with nose cup to prevent fogging, inhalation and exhalation valve

Gas suits have resistance tables Viton/ Chloroprene rubber/ PVC. Positive pressure inside the suits  add to safety

Splash suits –for protection against liquid splashes –polyamide fabric coated both sides with PVC. Hood with draw string to fit under the helmet. Front  zipper must be protected by double flyfront.

Gangway notice:
Visitors are required to show identification
Mobile phones and other electronic eqipment to be switched off
Lighters and matches prohibited to be carried on board

Even if shore has provided gangway it is  ships responsibility to provide the gangway net.

The Safety Officer must be familiar with his duties and responsibilities including the requirement to make monthly inspections of areas of his vessel, investigate all accidents, minor injuries, dangerous occurrences etc. The reports arising from these investigations are to be recorded in a dedicated log book held by the safety officer. The Safety Officer’s report in the Monthly Safety Committee meeting must be an extract of his log book.

Even seemingly minor accidents should be investigated. As a guidance, any entries in the Medical Log which state that treatment has been administered, should also be mentioned in the accident investigation log.



It is company policy NOT to allow Toluene spraying due to danger of static explosion

The pre cleaning temp must be well below the FP.  If it not possible avoid ignition source.

Flushing / recirc with tankcleaning chemicals <60 C FP requires an inerted tank.

Never wash and steam a tank simultanelously—static electricity is generated

If the tank is having cargo of FP<55 deg C flush tank with water first and then strip the bottom dry. Then gas free till the conc of LEL is <50% for SS ( 40% for coated tanks ) before washing .

One chemical is incompatible with another when on mixing temp rises more than 25 deg C or a gas is evolved.

You can spray Methanol with a Graco barrel pump at 15 kg pressure—but never ever toluene (static explosion ). Too may sailors have died at sea this way.

In a tank of 100 CUM use can use only 3.8 litres of toluene for steaming so as not to exceed the LEL, while you can use 9 litres of methanol

A flammable vapour mixture should be suspected within the tank or at any of its openings after unloading a volatile flammable cargo, a non-volatile flammable cargo carried at a temperature above its flash point, or any cargo loaded into a tank that was not free of flammable vapour.

Harmful concentrations of vapour should be suspected in all such spaces after loading cargoes having a vapour inhalation hazard.

Washing in a Non-Inert Atmosphere

Under the terms of Chapter 11-2 of the SOLAS Convention, 'new' chemical tankers (as defined in the Convention) over 20,000 DWT whose tanks have contained flammable chemicals can only be washed in a non-inert atmosphere if all the following conditions are met:
Individual tank capacity is less than 3000m3
Tank washing machine capacity per nozzle does not exceed 17.5,m3per hour; –this means a  twin nozzle machine shall not exceed 35m3/hour.and –
Total combined washing machine throughout in the tank is less than 110m3 per hour.

Portable washing machines which are not in use shall be removed from the tank

These conditions have been introduced in order to minimise the risk of fire and explosion resulting from the generation and discharge of hazardous levels of static electricity: it is therefore recommended that 'new' chemical tankers of below 20,000 tonnes DWT and existing chemical tankers of all sizes also comply with them.

If the cargo tank has been ventilated before washing to reduce the vapour concentration of the atmosphere to 10% or less of the LFL, the following procedures should be adopted in addition to the precautions set out previously:-

Before washing, the tank bottom should be flushed with water and stripped. The piping system, including cargo pumps, crossover and discharge lines, should also be flushed with water.

       The flushing water should be drained to the tank designed or designated as a slop tank.

       This operation may not be necessary if the ship is fitted with an efficient stripping system and thecargo tank and pipelines have been stripped as detailed in the ship's procedures and arrangements manual.

       Note: If cargoes are highly water reactive this operation must not be carried out.

Wash water may be heated, but if its temperature is above 60°C, washing should be discontinued if the gas concentration reaches 35% of the LFL,

Small quantities of chemical additives may be used. Follow instructions on chemical additive MSDS instruction sheets.

A record should be kept showing the date and result of electrical continuity testing. Any hoses not meeting electrical continuity should be properly marked and taken out of service.

Washing machines should be suspended within a cargo tank by means of a natural fibre rope, and not by the water supply hose unless the manufacturer's instructions indicate otherwise.      
All chemicals used for tank cleaning purposes (low and high flash solvents, detergents, emulsifiers or synthetic soaps) may generate electrostatic charges if allowed to free-fall or when sprayed.

Tank cleaning chemicals should therefore only be used to wash cargo tanks that are in a non-flammable condition.

Solvents may be used to clean tank walls in a localised area (e.g. wiping down) provided the amount of tank cleaning chemical is small and the personnel entering the tank observe all enclosed space entry requirements and wear the necessary protective clothing.

In addition to the above, any manufacturers' instructions or recommendations for the use of these products should be observed and the resulting slops disposed of in accordance with the ship's Procedures and Arrangements Manual.

Where these operations take place in port, additional requirements may be imposed by local authorities.

Chlorinated solvent spraying is not permitted

No tankcleaning chemicals with cat Z  components can be used unless they are readily biodegradable and present in a total concentration less than 10%



1 comment:

  1. The best way is Workers should flush their eyes or contaminated skin for fifteen minutes immediately after exposure. The water should be clean and at low pressure.
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