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Ships confined area safe procedure



What is a confined space on board ?
A confined space is a space that has any one of the following characteristics:

i) Limited openings for entry and exit
ii) Unfavorable natural ventilation
iii) Not designed for continuous worker occupancy

Examples of such confined area on board are : boiler, pressure vessel, cargo, ballast, fuel oil, or lube oil tank, cargo hold, void space, or similar type enclosure.

i) Limited openings for entry and exit: Confined space openings are limited primarily by size or location. Openings are usually small in size, perhaps as small as 450 mm (18 inches) in diameter, and are difficult to move through easily. Small openings may make it very difficult to get needed equipment in or out of the spaces, especially life-saving equipment when rescue is needed. However, in some cases openings may be very large, for example open-topped spaces such as ships' holds. Access to open-topped spaces may require the use of ladders, hoists, or other devices, and escape from such areas may be very difficult in emergency situations.



ii) Unfavorable natural ventilation: Because air may not move in and out of confined spaces freely due to the design, the atmosphere inside a confined space can be very different from the atmosphere outside. Deadly gases may be trapped inside, particularly if the space is used to store or process chemicals or organic substances which may decompose. There may not be enough oxygen inside the confined space to support life, or the air could be so oxygen-rich that it is likely to increase the chance of fire or explosion if a source of ignition is present.

iii) Not designed for continuous worker occupancy: Most confined spaces are not designed for workers to enter and work in them on a routine basis. They are designed to store a product, enclose materials and processes, or transport products or substances. Therefore, occasional worker entry for Survey, inspection, maintenance, repair, cleanup, or similar tasks is often difficult and dangerous due to chemical or physical hazards within the space.

A confined space found in the workplace may have a combination of these three characteristics, which can complicate working in and around these spaces as well as rescue operations during emergencies.


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Operation of sea going bulk carriers involved numerous hazards . Careful planning and exercising due caution for all critical shipboard matters are important . This site is a quick reference to international shipping community with guidance and information on the loading and discharging of modern bulk carriers so as to remain within the limitations as specified by the classification society.
It is vital to reduce the likelihood of over-stressing the ship's structure and also complying with all essential safety measures for a safe passage at sea. Our detail pages contain various bulk carrier related topics that might be useful for people working on board and those who working ashore in the terminal. For any remarks please Contact us

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