During the 15th session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers, DSC, held from 13 to 17 September 2010 session, the work on revised draft IMO Recommendations for Entering Enclosed Spaces was finalised. The draft will now be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for adoption.
The revision was caused by a continued high frequency of accidents in connection with entry into enclosed spaces. What is new is that now enclosed spaces are to be identified in each individual ship, that clear guidelines and procedures for entry into these spaces are to be determined, and that training must be provided for their evacuation.
A proposal has been made to supplement the recommendations by mandatory training in the safety procedures for entry into enclosed spaces, corresponding to the training provided today in order to extinguish fires and evacuate the ship. However, a number of countries found it more appropriate to further the awareness of the risks related to enclosed spaces and the identification hereof through the ships’ existing safety management system (the ISM Code). At the next session in September 2011, it will be decided whether the Sub-Committee will recommend the introduction of mandatory drills.
During the session, a final draft for a revised Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes was also drawn up. Now, the Code will be submitted to the Maritime Safety Committee and the IMO General Assembly for adoption.
The Netherlands presented a comprehensive study that sought to identify reasons for collapses in container stacks and loss of containers. The study indicated that one of the most important reasons for losses of or damages to containers must be attributed to incorrect weight information, which leads to interaction between container stacks and overload of underlying containers. The report was received with a number of unambiguous statements that there was a need to introduce mandatory weighing of all containers, for example upon their arrival in the terminal.
The correspondence group that had been established to make clearer and simpler the regulations on stowing and separation contained in chapter 7 of the IMDG Code presented its work at this session. In addition, the Sub-Committee discussed a number of amendments to the IMDG Code and the IMSBC Code. The final proposals will now be submitted to the so-called E&T working group, which is to prepare the coming amendments of the two Codes.