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Safety equipment and related considerations for modern chemical tankers

Ventilation requirement in cargo handling spaces - Chemical tanker procedure : Spaces normally entered during cargo-handling operations - Cargo pump-rooms and other closed spaces which contain cargo-handling equipment and similar spaces in which work is performed on the cargo should be fitted with mechanical ventilation systems which should be capable of being controlled from outside such spaces. Provision should be made to ventilate such spaces prior to entering the compartment and operating the equipment

chemical tanker navigation at sea
Mechanical ventilation systems

(i) Mechanical ventilation inlets and outlets should be arranged to ensure sufficient air movement through this space to avoid the accumulation of toxic and/or flammable vapours (taking into account their vapour densities) and to ensure sufficient oxygen to provide a safe working environment, but in no case should the ventilation system have a capacity of less than 30 changes of air per hour, based upon the total volume of the space.

(ii) Ventilation systems should be permanent and should normally be of the extraction type. Extraction from above and below the floor plates should be possible. In rooms housing motors driving cargo pumps, the ventilation should be of the positive-pressure type.

(iii) Ventilation exhaust ducts from gas-dangerous spaces should discharge upwards in locations at least 10 m in the horizontal direction from ventilation intakes and openings to accommodation, service and controlstation spaces and other gas-safe spaces,

(iv) Ventilation intakes should be so arranged as to minimize the possibility of recycling hazardous vapours from any ventilation discharge opening.

(v) Ventilation ducts should not be led through engine-rooms, accommodation, working spaces or other similar spaces.

(vi) Ventilation fans should be approved by the Administration for operation in explosive atmospheres when flammable cargoes are carried aboard the ship.

Spaces not normally entered

Double bottom; cofferdams, duct keels, pipe tunnels, spaces containing cargo tanks and other spaces where cargo may accumulate should be capable of being ventilated to ensure sufficient air to avoid the accumulation of toxic and/ or flammable vapours and to ensure sufficient oxygen to provide a safe environment prior to entry. Where a permanent ventilation system is not provided for such spaces, approved portable means of mechanical ventilation should be provided.

It should also be borne in mind that in all cases the advice given may be subject to local or national regulations, and that terminal operators have their own safety procedures which could affect cargo handling operations and the measures to be adopted in emergencies. The master and all personnel must be aware of and comply with those regulations and procedures. Their existence will be highlighted by the use of the Ship/Shore Safety Checklist which, together with its guidelines for completion, remains a fundamental part of establishing safe conditions for transport by sea of chemicals in bulk.

Related Info pages

Various chemical cargo handling equipments onboard

Checklist for handling dangerous liquid chemicals in bulk

How to determine the level of a liquid in a chemical tank

Following detail pages explain all liquid chemical hazards & precautionary measures while carrying at sea.

  1. Toxicology and associated hazards onboard chemical tankers

  2. Hazards of vapour given off by a flammable liquid while carrying at sea

  3. Reactivity of various noxious liquid chemicals

  4. Most corrosive chemicals carried onboard chemical tankers

  5. Posoning hazards & first aid treatment

  6. What is putrefaction process of liquid chemicals ?

  7. Specific gravity,Vapour pressure and boiling point,Electrostatic charging & measuring Viscosity
  8. General precautions onboard chemical tankers

  9. Mooring precautions onboard chemical tankers

  10. Berth precautions onboard chemical tankers

  11. Cold weather countermeasures, avoiding electric storms

  12. Restriction on using radio equipments and other mobile devices in cargo working areas

  13. Handling precautions for carcinogens or cyanide-like substances

  14. Handling precautions for Benzene & Methanol

  15. Securing cargo tank lids and required safety precautions

  16. Means of access (gangways or accommodation ladders) safety precautions

  17. Preparations for hot work and safety precautions

  18. Safe method of gas freeing after a tank cleaning onboard chemical tankers

  19. Precautions against static electricity

  20. Handling precautions for nitrogen from shore station

  21. Cargo tank entry safety precautions

  22. Ship to ship transfer safety precautions

  23. How to deal with chemical fire onboard ?

Following reference publications provide useful guidance and international regulations for carrying hazardous chemicals at sea.

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