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Personal protective equipment for working in a confined space on board cargo ships

Confined spaces on board a cargo ship

Boiler, pressure vessel, cargo, ballast, fuel oil, or lube oil tank, cargo hold, void spaces, or similar type enclosures are the most commonly found confined spaces on board a cargo vessel. These area got limited openings for entry and exit, lack of natural ventilation and not designed for continuous worker occupancy

Required Personal protective equipment (PPE) for working in a confined space

PPE is traditionally regarded as the last line of protection with the emphasis being place on avoidance and appropriate managerial control methods. However, the potentially hazardous nature and isolated position of those entering a confined space means that, for the surveyor, PPE may be the first line of protection. Each confined space will present different hazards and degrees of risk to health and safety, the final provision of PPE should therefore be based on an assessment of risk. As a general rule the following guidance is offered.

Wearing PPE prior entering Confined space
Fig: Wearing PPE prior entering Confined space

Basic surveyor PPE should include:

i) Body protection (hard wearing overalls with suitable pockets for notebook etc).

ii) Foot protection (steel toecaps (200 joules), steel midsoles, good grip, oil resistant).

iii) Head protection (hard hat with chinstraps)

iv) Hand protection (hard wearing gloves).

v) Eye protection (protective glasses, goggles).

vi) Ear protection (ear defenders or ear plugs ­ worn subject to communication system).

vii) Lighting (hand held torch with lanyard and appropriate beam width).

viii) Safety harness

Breathing apparatus – Equipment that enables a person to get a supply of oxygen in an environment where little or no air exists, e.g. a smoke-filled compartment. Two types are in use; the smoke helmet and the self-contained unit using air cylinders. The smoke helmet covers the head and is connected to an air hose. A hand-operated pump supplies the air. The self-contained unit consists of one or two cylinders of compressed air kept in a harness, which is carried on the back. The high-pressure air is fed through a reducing valve and then to a demand valve fitted into a facemask.

Breathing air cylinder – Each cylinder is to contain not less than 1200 litres of fresh air. Every set of self-contained breathing apparatus must be provided with spare cylinders having a total air capacity of 2400 litres.

A safety harness is meant to be worn correctly so that it can fulfil its design requirements, which is to provide security against falling and allowing the wearer to use both hands to complete tasks, especially when working aloft. By not using a harness one increases the risk of falling and, in doing so, causing possible injury to others as well. A '5 point' safety harness fitted with a 'fall arrest' device should always be used. Fall arresters act as shock absorbers and slow the fall gradually over short distances. The harness webbing and lanyard should be inspected regularly for cuts, abrasions or damage to stitching.

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Top articles

  1. What is a confined space on board ?

  2. Potential hazards in a confined space

  3. Health hazards for personnel working in a dusty condition onboard

  4. Survival and safety procedure for bulk carriers

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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