Feb 242016

After a joint concentrated inspection campaign, CIC, in September to November last year the Paris and Tokyo MoUs say that confined/enclosed space entry is generally taken seriously by the industry but there is still a way to go.

The Crew Familiarization for Enclosed Space Entry CIC did not lead to an increase in the rate of detentions however the actual compliance, shown in drills, could be better. 7.9% of drills were found to be unsatisfactory.

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Feb 212016

In this week’s SafeSpace Replay: A ship filled with wheat, a seafarer dead in his cabin, fumigants in the holds but the holds were sealed. Weren’t they?

You might not smell trouble but you might see it coming, even if it wears a mask


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Feb 162016

MAC has already mentioned one example of a ‘confined space entry incident that wasn’t’ , now another example has been highlighted by the International Marine Contractors Association on an offshore installation.

In both cases, crew were enveloped in an oxygen deficient atmosphere, even though they were in the “open air”, while standing over an open hatch/manhole cover to test the confined space below. In both cases a crewmember was rendered unconscious. Although the were no serious injuries, there is still potential for them.

Here’s the IMCA alert:

“A member has reported a serious confined space incident in which a crew member was injured. The incident occurred during quarterly planned maintenance of the leakage detection system in the base of one of the legs of a semi-submersible accommodation unit alongside fixed production platform.

“A crew member lifted the manhole cover to gain access to the tank to undertake planned maintenance.

The crew member was working next to his supervisor who began to lower gas sampling equipment into the tank as part of normal pre-entry checks. Within a minute of the manhole cover being lifted, the gas sampling equipment (which was 3m down into the 6m height of the tank) gave an alarm, and the crew member lost consciousness.

“Subsequent gas sampling during the investigation was undertaken and recorded unexpectedly high levels of hydrogen. The presence of hydrogen can be explained by the electrolytic reaction between the sacrificial anodes and the steel within the ballast tank below the tank being worked upon.

“The crew member who lost consciousness recovered fully with no residual ill health effects.

The company involved made the following recommendations:

  • Vent ballast tanks regularly in order to prevent hydrogen build-up;
  • Ensure appropriate steps are taken to purge gases from ballast tanks prior to tank opening;
  • Using appropriate equipment, conduct tests for the presence of hydrogen before tank entry;
  • Remain mindful of the potential for build-up of hydrogen in ballast tanks where sacrificial anodes are used;
  • Review gas sampling procedure.”
Feb 152016

Do you know what a confined space actually is? Can you identify one by looking at it? When is a confined space hazardous? And when does a non-hazardous space become a dangerous one?  This week MAC is looking at no-so-obvious confined spaces and hazards, threats that may go unrecognised.

We start with the Jo Eik incident.

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Jan 312016

A young ambitious officer with the world of command ahead of him but he forgot the golden rule: when you go into a trap, make sure you’ve got two pairs of eyes.

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Jan 252016

Three men lay dead in the anchor locker.
What they’d needed to live was all around them except in one place:
the air they once breathed.

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Jan 192016

Britain’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency, MCA, is holding a workshop on 24 February in London. Says the MCA: “Over 50 years ago enclosed spaces were recognised as a serious risk to seafarers and the cause of many recorded deaths and injuries. Sadly, even now such deaths and serious injuries are still all-too-frequent when almost all of them might be preventable.”

Places are limited to 100.

Presentations and discussions to explore
what more can be done to reduce
the number of fatalities caused by
entry into enclosed spaces.

10am till 4.30pm on Wednesday
24th February 2016

Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London,

Further information: mlc@mcga.gov.uk


Jun 012015

Is there anything remotely ambiguous about the signage on this hatch-cover?  Why did three seafarers ignore them? Unfortunately the report from the Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation on three confined space deaths aboard the German-flagged general cargo ship Suntis does not tell us. Key questions remain unanswered but the circumstances are all too familiar.

Says the report “MV Suntis left the port of Riga in Latvia on 19 May 2014 and reached the port of Goole in the United Kingdom on the evening of Saturday 24 May 2014. The crew was composed of a 67-year-old German master, a 60-year-old German chief officer, and three Philippine seamen (38, 33 and 30 years old). The ship was laden with timber. Continue reading »