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Cargo work safety - Self-unloaders procedure

Preventing/Dealing with Spillage’s and Overloads:

It is absolutely essential to avoid any spillage, and belt overload by taking the following measurements and precautions:-

  1. Correct training and belt tensioning.
  2. Adjustment of scrapers.
  3. Proper control of cargo flow onto the belt.
  4. Maintaining proper hydraulic line pressures on the gates.


  5. Careful monitoring of the belt load meter settings in the CCR when operating at maximum capacity.
  6. Frequent inspection of the system to identify any malfunction.
  7. Maintaining a shore hopper/boom watch to prevent overloading the shore system.

CAUTION: WHEN REMOVING SPILLAGES CLEAR OF THE BELT THE SYSTEM EMERGENCY STOPS MUST BE ACTIVATED AND TEH BACKSTOPS ENGAGED ANDC HECKED. THE OPERATION MUST BE CONTINOUSLY SUPERVISED BY A COMPETENT PERSON. ENSURE THAT THE LIFT BELT BACKSTOPS ARE ENGAGED BEFORE CARRYING OUT ANY WORK IN THE VICINITY OF THE LIFT BELT AND ITS PULLEY/WHEELS ETC.


Cargo on the Return Belt

When spillage occurs or pieces of cargo bounce off the carrying side of the hold conveyor belt and falls onto its return side, this cargo will get in between the carriage components and cause damage to them. Proper control of the cargo flow onto the belt and good belt tracking will prevent this occurrence. If spillage occurs, the hold conveyor must be stopped, using the pull chord to clear the spill.

self unloader alongside terminal
Fig: self unloader alongside terminal


Max Dimension of Cargo per C/P

The C/P states that the maximum size of a stone/rock/piece of cargo, which is allowable is 10 cm in any direction. Oversized cargo may cause damage to the belt cover, or get stuck in the system causing further damage. If oversized pieces are noted, samples must be kept aside, and a protest issued to the Shippers. The relevant Ship Management Office and Owners must be informed immediately.




Danger in the Loop Area:

No unauthorised persons are allowed in the Loop area and the CCR must be informed prior to entry. Crew entering this area must wear protective clothing and exercise caution, as there is danger of falling cargo, which may have slipped through the loop belt, or fallen off the elevator belt. The Chief Engineer can restrict entry as necessary.


Loop Water Sprinkler

A water-sprinkler arrangement is provided to protect the Loop House. It is not an automatic arrangement, and must be turned on immediately in the event of a fire. The water output from this sprinkler may prove inadequate and is basically to cover the period until fire hoses are ready. The water sprinkler arrangement must be tested regularly to ensure that the nozzles are not blocked.


ND Ultrasonic Testing of the Boom

Regular and thorough visual checks of the Boom structure are to be carried out. If excessive deflection or fractured welding is sighted, then the Boom structure must be subjected to dye penetrant testing of all suspect welding. Evidence of cracking of any welding etc is to be followed by an Ultrasonic examination of the entire Boom Structure by an accredited Company.


Entry Procedure to clear Hang-Ups






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Safe working practice onboard self unloading bulk carriers



Our detail pages illustrated many safety aspects of Bulk carrier

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  1. Self unloader components

  2. Function of loop & bucket belt elevators

  3. Various type boom conveyor belts - How the belt sytem practically works ?

  4. Dealing with self unloaders stalled lift belt

  5. Conveyor belt construction & troubleshoot guide

  6. Conveyor belt installation guide

  7. Conveyor belt repair & maintenence guide

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  9. Preventing conveyor belt fire onboard self unloading bulk carriers

  10. Cargo work safety precautions

  11. Various bulk cargoes - free flow ability

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  17. Procedure for bulk cargo handling prior to and during loading

  18. Loading operations - voyage orders, draft restrictions, various grades and rates

  19. Loading sequence and other related considerations

  20. Preparations for discharging & related guideline

  21. self-unloaders-discharging-operation

  22. Safety precautions for boom operation

  23. Directing gate operation, gate problems & crew duties

  24. Cargo holds/ tunnels cleaning, maintenance and check items

  25. Procedure for transporting coal on self- unloading 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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