Press Article: The dangers of enclosed spaces

News & Insights 9 August 2020


Contributed by

Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at Standard Club, asks why enclosed space entry fatalities are still happening.

Despite the well-known risks and the numerous publications and articles available on the topic, enclosed space entry fatalities continue to account for a significant proportion of deaths at sea to date. More drastic measures are required if the industry wishes to turn this tide.

The most recent in a long list of such incidents is the death of a chief officer who entered a fumigated hold to inspect the cargo condition. In this case, detailed instructions for the fumigation of the cargo were given to the vessel clearly stating that the fumigant was potentially dangerous. Even though the chief officer checked the hold atmosphere prior to entry, unfortunately the gas detector he used was not capable of measuring the concentration of toxic phosphine gas. Further, the confined space entry was made using only a mask, absent was the correct self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), leading to fatal consequences. Hence, it is vital to ensure that all possible risks are taken into consideration before one enters an enclosed space.

Please see full 'Technical Brief' article in the July/August edition of Maritime Risk International (pg 22), link available on the right.

Categories: Loss Prevention

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