Worker trapped inside closed tank

Report Text:

An AB closed the hatch cover of a ballast tank whilst a painter was still working inside the tank.

Lessons Learned: Ensure that personnel involved in ballast tanks maintenance are fully aware and implement strictly the Company’s procedures including:

  • A team leader should be appointed who should confirm and report implementation of all safety measures prior to entry and during the works in the tanks.
  • An effective communication system should be maint – ained between personnel working in the tank, deck personnel and bridge OOW.
  • Entry time, persons entering and coming out should be reported/recorded.
  • Entry should be only permitted under valid entry permit.
  • Initial and repeated atmosphere checks should be carried strictly as required, by a responsible officer.
  • Strict implementation of the PPE requirements.

CHIRP Comment

The lessons learned from the report are valid. The industry continues to see unnecessary loss of life whilst personnel are working in enclosed spaces, despite regulators raising awareness of the risks that have been well advertised for many years. IMO Resolution A.1050 (27) has guidelines on entry into enclosed spaces and the MCA publication MGN 423 (M) Entry into Dangerous Spaces should be read in conjunction with (Entry into Dangerous Spaces) Regulations 1988 and chapter 17 of the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen. Note also the MAIB report on the SUNTIS published August 2014. Also MAIB Safety bulletin 2/2008 following the loss of lives on Viking Islay, Saga Rose and Sava Lake. P&I Clubs have also published comprehensive information on this subject e.g. The Standard Club.