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Cargo handling equipments when handling noxious liquid substances onboard chemical tankers

It is essential on chemical tankers that everyone knows his ship's safety equipments thoroughly prior handling noxious chemical cargo. Also the master/chief officer must assume responsibility for this.

Below is listed suitable equipment for operational personnel for various typical cargoes and operations on board:

a) Products involving little or no danger upon skin contact, moderate vapour toxity and relatively high volatility (low boiling point) as e g: petroleum products, petroleum naphta, toluene, benzene, xylenes, methanol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, gasoline, styrene
Use: Rubber boots, gloves
Have in your pocket for use : (when taking ullages, sampling etc) Plastic goggles

A breathing apparatus (compressed air type 200 atm) should be kept ready for immediate use if sudden entry into a gas-filled pump room should become necessary. Eye washing bottles available on deck and in pump rooms. Explosimeter and toximeter available.

b) Products with a strong corrosive effect on human tissue, moderate or low vapour toxity as: sulphuric acid, caustic soda, phosphoric acid (eye danger primarily), acetic acid.

Use : Goggles or face shield, oilskin or apron, rubber boots (trousers outside), long cuffed rubber gloves, helmet. Eye washing bottles available on deck and in pump rooms


c) Products which involve great danger upon skin contact (poisoning) and high vapour toxity as e g: phenol, acrylonitrile, acetone cyanohydrine, allyl alcohol, aniline, chlorosulfonic acid.

Use on open deck (as a minimum): skintight fitting goggles or face shield, oilskin, rubber boots (trousers outside), long cuffed rubber gloves (tucked inside jacket sleeves), helmet.

Have in your pocket for immediate use: Gas mask (full mask or emergency mouthpiece with nose clamp). Eye washing bottles available on deck and in pump room . At least two breathing apparatuses (compressed air types) should be kept available on deck for immediate use. Toximeters available on deck. When handling hoses or entering contaminated areas: use full protective suit, preferably of pressurized type with hood and permanently attached rubber boots.


The IMCO Bulk Chemicals Code ref (25) gives some general information on the amount of and the type of personal protection to be provided on board. For the purpose of being a check list is given below what might be considered the minimum amount of equipment on board a chemical tanker of 30 000 tdw. Indicated, in brackets, is the IMCO-Code minimum requirement (where given). An "x" means "sufficient":


Number of

6 (3) : Breathing apparatus, compressed air type, with air bottles ( in addition to SOLAS fire fighting equipment) min. 20 minutes action time.
1 : Compressor with fittings etc. for charging of air bottles for breathing masks.
12 : Air bottles to above (7 l at 200 atm or 4 1 at 300 atm), as reserves.
3 : Breathing hood with filters and 2 x 30 m hose.
3 (3) : Protective suit, chemical resistant, overpressure type with hose connection. Rubber boots attached with chemicals resistance list.
6 (3) : Protective suit, chemical resistant, rubber boots (attached with chemicals resistance list)
30 (x) : “Oilskin”, chemical resistant.
20p (3) : Long rubber boots.
10 (3) : Apron
30 p (3) : Gloves, long sleved.
50 p (3) : Goggles, plastic, tight fitting.
10 p (3) : Face shields.
3 (3) : Steel cored rescue line with belt and hook.
12 (3) : Safety lamp.
2 (2) : Gas indicator for flammable gases (double scale), with calibration unit.
2 (2) : Oxygen indicator.
2 (2) : Gas indicator for toxic vapours (with liberal supply of detection ampoules for likely cargoes).
10 (x) : Eye washing bottles.
1 (1) : Oxygen resuscitation equipment.
(all on (all on Gas mask for emergency use, with filters for cargo vapours (if very toxic and volatile cargoes are to be carried).
(x) (x) : Antidotes.
(i) (1) : Stretcher suitable for use in pump rooms etc (Japanese type)
(x) (x) : Shower (on deck and in pump rooms)
(x) (x) : Cargo and medical information .

NB: Nitrile rubber (gloves) is not resistant to acrylonitrile and should not be used with this product.

It should be borne in mind that individual ship has got own characteristics and limitations may involved handling various chemical cargoes . The master and all personnel in all cases must be aware of cargo/ship information that has been given and comply with relevant safety procedures.







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Cargo handling safe practice for chemical products

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Poisoning and required first aid treatment onboard

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