Gas bottles should be transported on gas racks when being transferred. If a gas rack is not available then consider moving the gas bottles one by one, says a safety flash from Marine Safety Forum.
Says an MSF safety alert: “The ship’s crew were loading stores using the ships crane, a pallet holding 6 gas bottles snagged on a deck fitting as it was being lowered onto the deck. The pallet tilted causing the bottles to slip from the securing bands and fall onto the deck from a height of approximately 1 metre.
• The crew had not carried out a risk assessment for the operation.
• The securing arrangements of the bottles on the pallet were not checked prior to lifting, as
the banding straps had worked loose during transportation.
• There were 6 bottles on the wooden pallet, 4 Acetylene and 2 Oxygen.
This incident has highlighted a need for ship’s crew to be vigilant when performing common tasks, such as loading stores using the ships crane.
All lifting operations should be risk assessed.
All pallets should be checked to ensure goods on them are secure and cannot fall off.
If crews are in doubt then the lift should not be undertaken and the pallet rejected for loading.
Oxygen and Acetylene Gas bottles should where possible be transported in gas racks.
Best practice and the safest method for transportation and lifting onboard is by gas racks but if the bottles are delivered on pallets then consideration should be given to the lifting of the bottles
individually from the pallet onto the vessel.
When lifting gas bottles individually and no rack is available, the lifting strop should be attached so that the bottle cannot slip. Never lift a bottle using the transportation cap.
It is recommended that Gas Racks would be the preferred transportation method for gas bottles.