enclosed space

Entry into enclosed space… Signs are NOT enough!

September 13, 2022

enclosed space

Entry into enclosed space… Signs are NOT enough!

September 13, 2022

Entry into enclosed space… Signs are NOT enough!

Investigations into many casualties have shown that accidents on board are in most cases caused by insufficient knowledge or disregard of the correct precautions rather than lack of guidance.

Signs are not enough!

Many vessels now routinely have signage posted at the cargo hold access hatches that prohibit entry unless the enclosed space entry procedure is followed. But year after year, the crew are still dying in cargo holds with less than adequate oxygen or the presence of other gases that do not support life. Far too often, we also see that seafarers who die in enclosed spaces do so while attempting to rescue fellow crew members.

EEBD is for escape, not for rescue!

There have been several cases, where the crew enters these spaces with an EEBD, respirators, or gas masks, which are not the appropriate equipment.
An investigation on a recent fatality onboard a bulk carrier revealed that:

• Company’s enclosed space entry procedures were not followed.

• There was a distinct lack of awareness on the part of certain crewmembers on the hazards of entering a cargo hold.

Initiatives after the investigation:

1. Locking devices were fitted to the access hatches for all cargo holds and other enclosed spaces on board the vessel.
2. The Company’s SMS was updated to require permanent signs at the entrance to enclosed spaces warning of the risk of asphyxiation if entered without taking proper precautions.
3. A training initiative was implemented to increase awareness of the hazards of entering enclosed spaces without taking proper precautions.

Remember – knowledge and training save lives!

You can read the full investigation -> 202237 Hold access fatality/lack of oxygen (nautinst.org)
Regulatory landscape:

• Mandatory drills for enclosed space, under SOLAS, came into force in January 2015.

• From July 2016, gas detector equipment must be available onboard ships.

• ISM Code requires companies to ensure that proper risk assessment and procedures are in place to prevent such incidents.

• The 6th edition of ISGOTT came out in June 2020, following the 5th edition in 2006, incorporating all the changes made by IMO through these years and including also enclosed spaces.

References / Downloads:
1. https://www.standard-club.com/fileadmin/uploads/standardclub/Documents/Import/publications/masters-guides/3344889-sc-mg-enclosed-space-entry-20200901-final-version.pdf
2. https://wwwcdn.imo.org/localresources/en/KnowledgeCentre/IndexofIMOResolutions/AssemblyDocuments/A.1050(27).pdf
3. http://www.gard.no/web/content/enclosed-space-entry-training
4. https://www.igpandi.org/enclosed-space-entry