This report should be read in conjunction with articles Safe Working Practices – Working aloft and in cargo holds (2) and (3)
CHIRP has received several reports concerning unsafe working practices whilst engaged in cargo hold preparations and also when working aloft using ships cranes.
What the Reporter told us (1):
A crewmember reported that whilst anchored on a bulk carrier waiting to load grain, the vessel’s management instructed them to repaint the cargo hold. The crew were not provided with basic personal protective equipment such as gloves, dust masks, and eye protection. The holds were being treated with chemicals and painting was conducted from dusk until dawn – this also included the practise of non-paid overtime.
In this particular port, there is a general prohibition on all painting.
Ladder not secured and crew in a precarious position with a risk of falling
CHIRP highlights that notwithstanding the poor standard of safety employed by the vessel’s management and the lack of basic safety protection to do the job, the most common requirement for cleanliness when loading grain in bulk carriers is termed “grain clean”. This involves fresh water washing and the removal of all of the previous cargo residues. The hold must be free of any infestation and any loose paint flakes removed, and the hold must be odour free. In this particular case, with these practices being employed, there existed an inherent danger that the holds would not be odour free at all. Holds would generally be inspected prior to loading grain and any failure of the inspection would mean time off hire until any deficiency was rectified.