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Enclosed space entry training

(Posted on 24/10/18)

Accidents in enclosed spaces have long been a source of serious injuries and fatalities. Analysis into these accidents shows that the underlying cause is often a failure to follow established procedures that are put in place to ensure the safety of seafarers. Whether this is due to insufficient knowledge or a disregard for safety precautions, the fact remains that effective training is required to increase the safety of enclosed space entry operations.

Seagull Maritime is offering an effective onboard course on Enclosed Space Entry that combines e-learning and practical tasks. This course has great value as the crew member does the training onboard the vessel and gets familiar with onboard procedures and safety culture. In addition, Seagull delivers e-learning modules, learning films and a distance course targeting Enclosed Space Entry.

The IMO defines an enclosed space as ‘an area on board which has limited openings for entry and exit, inadequate ventilation, or is not designed for continuous worker occupancy’. There are a number of such spaces on board ships. Contrary to many views, these are not necessarily limited in size.

When seafarers fail to follow procedures, they increase the risk of being overcome by dangerous atmospheres. In many cases, these situations are made worse when a seafarer rushes into the enclosed space to recover the casualty, leading to the rescuer becoming a victim in turn.

Seagull Maritime’s top tips for enclosed space entry:

  • All crew to be trained in enclose space hazards and safe entry procedures as per SOLAS requirements and IMO recommendations.
  • Managers, Masters and crew must have a zero tolerance attitude to unplanned entry into enclosed spaces.
  • Cargo holds must be assumed to be dangerous until proven otherwise.
  • Enclosed space openings must be rigorously controlled, with cargo hold access hatches clearly labelled with warning notices prohibiting entry without a permit.

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