The Standard P&I Club notes that investigation into enclosed space-related casualties reveal that most are caused by poor training and knowledge of the correct entry procedures, or a disregard for them. Therefore, the Club has published a comprehensive guide to address all key issues and assist seafarers to enter enclosed spaces safely. The guide highlights shortfalls in individual company procedures in equipment, training and onboard practices.
Firstly, Standard Club enlists incidents related to enclosed spaces which have been already reported to the Club, illustrating different ways in which a seafarer can put himself in danger in these areas onboard. Analysis of these incidents have helped the Club to address key factors that contribute to enclosed space incidents as follows:
• poor training
• failure to follow proper procedures for enclosed space entry
• failure to recognise the danger of an enclosed space
• tendency to trust physical senses and forego testing or checks
• attempts to save a co-worker leading to short cuts and failure to follow procedures
• failure to manage safely any shore workers on board.
SOLAS sets two obligations in respect to enclosed space entry:
- Emergency training and drills according to SOLAS Chapter III Regulation 19. 3.6.2
- Atmosphere testing instrument for enclosed spaces according to SOLAS Chapter XI 1, Regulation 7
Four hazards are connected with enclosed space: hazardous atmosphere; physical or configuration hazard; changing and hazardous conditions and; engulfment hazard.
All enclosed spaces that have not been tested should be considered unsafe. If the atmosphere in an enclosed space is suspected or known to be unsafe, the space should only be entered when no practical alternative exists.
The Club highlights that failure to observe and understand simple enclosed space entry procedures can lead to persons being unexpectedly overcome when entering enclosed spaces. Observance of the principles and procedures outlined will form a reliable basis in reducing the risks for enclosed space entry.
Download the complete guideline by clicking on the following picture: