Risks Of Carrying A Fumigated Cargo

259

Fumigation is done to target infestations in bulk cargoes like grain and timber. The most widely used fumigant is aluminium phosphide which produces phosphine gas that is poisonous to humans. There have been numerous fatalities onboard ships as a result of the crew having been exposed to the gas, says in article published on gard website.

Fatal incident

  • The phosphine gas enters the accommodation block through air conditioning vents, cracks in the adjoining bulkheads or conduits. A lack of gas detection and alarm systems in the accommodation means the unsuspecting seafarers will report of sickness.
  • Crew may enter stool space and other void spaces adjacent to the holds where fumigant gasses may have leaked, without prior gas checks. This can happen after the cargo has been discharged. 
  • Crew and/or stevedores entering holds which are being fumigated. Gas checks on the surface can be misleading as fumigant gas can be trapped in pockets in the cargo stow. 
  • In-transit fumigation on bulk carriers is inherently dangerous for the ship’s crew. 

Recommendations

  • Identify all spaces that fumigant gasses can escape into from the cargo holds. 
  • Positive pressure in the accommodation should not be lost.
  • There should be a system of detection and alarm for the fumigant gas inside the accommodation. 
  • Where tubes are provided, they should be sufficient in quantity taking into account the duration of voyage. 
  • Personnel working in the cargo holds or the spaces adjacent to the cargo holds should carry a suitable gas detection equipment. 
  • The crew should be made aware of all the hazards associated with the fumigant and to the extent they can be exposed to the gas.

Summary

  • Fumigant gasses leaking from cargo holds can have fatal consequences.
  • A lack of gas detection and alarm systems in the accommodation means the unsuspecting seafarers will report of sickness.
  • Identify all spaces that fumigant gasses can escape into from the cargo holds.
  • Crew should be made aware of all the hazards associated with the fumigant.

Did you subscribe to our daily newsletter

It’s Free! Click here to subscribe!

Source: gard

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.