Jun 132014
 
EshcolReport

Tests showed that when the grill was lit the resulting flames were predominantly yellow. The grill was turned off following the activation of a personal gas detector which indicated that high levels of carbon monoxide were being emitted. Close inspection of the grill showed that the grill’s steel mesh was corroded and holed in several places

Two seafarers died of carbon monoxide poisoning whilst asleep on a fishing vessel in Whitby, which demonstrates that lessons over several years, warnings and alerts have had little impact. Poorly maintained equipment being used for purposes for which they were not designed. refusal to use alarms that save lives, on vessel not designed for people to sleep in lead to tragedy.

In the case of scallop-dredger Eshcol the two seafarers went to sleep tired and cold. doors and windows were closed. Heaters on the vessel did not work so to keep warm the seafarers lit the grill on the vessel’s four-year old cooker which had probably never been serviced. Neither the guidance for the installation of gas appliances on board small fishing vessels nor the cooker manufacturer’s instructions had been followed when the cooker was fitted. The metal gauze in the grill was holed and corroded, causing extraordinarily high levels of CO emissions.

Tests showed that when the grill was lit the resulting flames were predominantly yellow, indicating inefficient combustion. The grill was turned off following the activation of a personal gas detector which indicated that high levels of carbon monoxide were being emitted. Close inspection of the grill showed that the grill’s steel mesh was corroded and holed in several places Continue reading »

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Nov 242008
 

MAC has previously drawn attention to the hazards of wood pellets, only added to the IMO’s Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes , the BC Code, in 2005, BIMCO is also expressing concern about these hazards.

Says a BIMCO alert: “Although two investigations were carried out on the carriage of wood pellets, no intensive literature has been produced. Therefore, the information below is based on comments obtained generally regarding this commodity.

Wood pellets, produced from sawdust and wood shavings containing no additives or binders are not the same as wood pulp pellets, which are made of compacted wood chips. The shipment of wood pellets carries with it two main hazards: combustion hazards and carbon monoxide emissions. Continue reading »

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And Then There's Coconut Killer

 casualties, enclosed space, fatality  Comments Off on And Then There's Coconut Killer
Jul 172008
 

Checked the oxygen? Good. Checked for explosive atmosphere? Good. But it might still not be enough. Back in 2001 the Britannia P&I Club’s Riskwatch published a cautionary tale of a ship carrying Indonesian crude coconut oil from Kuala Enok to Rotterdam.

A heater in the tank of coconut oil ensured that the cargo remained liquid n the colder climes of Europe.

After berthing and discharge six men went into one of the tanks to clean residue from the pump suction. Oxygen levels were found to be acceptable and tested with an explosimeter showed that the atmosphere was below the lower explosive limit, LEL, so the tank was ‘safe’ and the men started work.

After a while one of the men seemed to be having a problem. Four men managed to get out of the tank, two others collapsed, one of whom later died.

During the voyage from Indonesia the heating of the coconut oil led to the evolution of carbon monoxide gas, something not realised before. indeed, a chemist in the investigation was sceptical until laboratory tests revealed that heated vegetable oils could, indeed, produce carbon monoxide.

The levels in the tank were more than 1,000 parts per million, dangerously high. Carbon Monoxide is deadly because it replaced oxygen in the blood. Think of it as chemical suffocation.

In a previous post we talked of dangerous videos that suggested that it was okay to go into atmospheres of less than 21 per cent (actually, 21.9 per cent). We warned that if the oxygen level was low it was because something was displacing the oxygen and that something might be hazardous. In this case, carbon monoxide was a little more than 0.1 per cent.

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