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Issue: 01/2012

Dear Colleagues,
Hot work carried out
onboard always has
inherent dangers. As such,
any such activity must be
carried out in a completely
controlled manner. Over
the years, the industry
as well as the Company
has developed detailed
guidelines, permit to work
systems, risk assessments
and procedures to carry out
hot work in a safe manner.
Sadly, a failure to adhere
to these rules of safety
led to fatalities on one of
our tankers. Hot work on
tankers, if at all necessary,
needs even stricter controls
because of the higher risks
involved. This incident has
shaken all of us and it is all
the more inconceivable that
it could have happened
despite stringent measures
in place.
This issue of Lookout
focuses your attention on
hot work safety. This is to
remind us of the salient
points that must be kept in
mind while carrying out hot
Your safety lies in your and
your fellow ship mates’
willingness to stringently
follow the safety rules
laid out by the Company.
Remember, that each one
of you has the right and
the responsibility to stop
unsafe acts and conditions.
Wishing you safe voyages.
– Pradeep Chawla
“ In recent years a number of fires have occurred in
ships under-going repair, which on investigation,
have been traced to welding operations. The
Ministry wish to draw attention to the danger of fire
when repair work of this nature is in progress… ”
The above words were penned down over 65 years
ago vide a Merchant Shipping Notice 268, in J an 1947
……… but are as valid even today. Many accidents
have been attributed to hot work in the maritime
industry over the years.
A Greek tanker, Spyros, exploded at Jurong
Shipyard in 1978. It remains Singapore’s worst
industrial accident, killing 76. Sparks from the
cutting torch used during repairs, caused a fire which
ignited an explosive vapour mixture within bunker tank
of the vessel.
17 Oct 2006 – A gasoline tanker ship exploded as a
welding spark came into contact with fuel at a Mexican
port, killing at least eight people and injuring nine
According to the research by the Bureau of Labour
Statistics (BLS) up to 25 percent of fatalities in
shipyards result from fires and explosions caused by
hot work.
Sadly, as you all are aware, we have had a major
incident ourselves where precious lives have been lost
on one of our vessels recently.
Hot work is a hazardous task on any ship. On tankers,
For HOTWORK to be carried out some GOLDEN
RULES must be followed strictly:
1. Risk Assessment
i A thorough risk assessment should be carried out
prior to the Hot work and the process should ensure
that the protective and precautionary measures
taken will reduce the risk associated with a task to a
level considered to be AS LOW AS REASONABLY
i Forward the risk assessment to the office for an
additional review and guidance.
2. Planning and Preparation
i Tank Cleaning must be thorough and the procedures
in the tank cleaning manual and industry guidelines
in TOM must be referred.
i The most critical aspect for tank cleaning is to
prepare a vessel for maintenance and repairs.
i A routine Crude oil washing on board oil tankers is
an effective process to keep the sludge in tanks at
low levels.
i The procedures laid out in the tank cleaning manual
must be followed to carry out an effective hot water
wash for a thorough cleaning of the tanks.
i Always allow additional time for the cleaning
process to allow for any unanticipated problems
with tank cleaning machine, heaters etc.
3. During Washing
i The flammability diagram must be well understood
and strictly followed to ensure the atmosphere of
the tank is never within the flammable range.
i After completion of washing process, take sounding
of the tank at multiple points to determine the
effectiveness of the tank cleaning process.
i The gas freeing process must include additional
time to ensure that the tanks are purged of all the
toxic and flammable gases.
i The designated area for the hot work must be
thoroughly cleaned of all the flammable material.
The cleaning standard guidelines are provided
in figure A. Manual removal of sludge should be
considered to provide a safer work space for hot
c ea gg o e a s
Cont... on page 4
Hot Work Safety
Sleep Deprivation
The 80/20 Principle – Managing
Your Priorities to Avoid Stress
BMPs for Sewage Treatment
Now what can I tell you that you don’t already know…… first if you
haven’t slept for more than 6 hours last night then don’t read this
article because then you have already lost the plot.
We need to sleep and sleep enough to function well. We all need and
love a good night’s sleep. Lack of good “quality” sleep can disrupt
your plans and push them to the next day. The importance of a restful
night really can’t be overemphasized.
You might be the Right person, at the Right place, at the Right
time but if you are not Rested, you will hurt someone ….. and
that someone might be YOU.
Sleep Deprivation and Weight Gain
We all want to be fit. Now if you are gunning for a fit body then you
definitely can’t compromise and neglect sleep. Sleep deprivation
causes the body to enter a ‘fight’ or emergency mode and it starts to
store fat. The exact opposite of what you want.
Sleep Deprivation and Hormonal Imbalances
Diabetes, hypertension and all these so called new age diseases are
called lifestyle diseases. Stress which causes sleepless nights is a
big underlying factor. A restorative and peaceful sleep is crucial for
absorption of minerals like calcium and iron both of which run low in
the case of hormonal imbalances. A regular bedtime hour prepares
the body to fall into deep sleep and brings a calming effect in mind
and body which leads to a sense of harmony for the hormones.
SIeep Deprivation and Work Efñciency
Here is the deal. Lack of sleep will beyond doubt affect the quality
of work you do. Comparative tests conducted on people who had
slept for less than 5 hrs at night found that the delayed response time
was at par with those who were under the influence of alcohol. They
were also as likely to make mistakes when faced with challenging
Waking up fresh is not a dream …. it’s a reality and try and work
towards it.
What you and I can do for the blissful sleep …..
No drinks before sleeping
Drinks stop you from entering the REM or deep restorative sleep
required by your body. Even people who normally don’t snore find
that they snore after having had too much to drink at night. The result
…you wake up with a headache and hangover. Not worth it.
No exercises before you sleep
Avoid exercise after sunset as your metabolic rate increases with
exercise which can keep you from sleeping.
Avoid eating before bed
Give yourself at least 2 hours from when you eat to when you sleep.
This allows for digestion to happen (or at least start) well before you
go to sleep so your body can rest well during the night, rather than
churning away your food.
Avoid caffeine
It keeps you awake and messes your final goal ….. a good night’s
No TV just before sleep
Different kinds of music have different effects on us. Hence there are
different kinds of sounds you must ideally listen to at different times
of the day. Now the TV that we watch bombards us with glaring music
and visuals which leave the brain agitated and far from calm. Not a
good idea just before your slumber, leaving you restless.
Taking a hot shower or bath before bed helps you sleep better
because a hot shower can relax tense muscles.
Sleep in silence
Now here’s where all aboard can help. So next time you bang that
door of the stairway on your way down or leave the door to the
laundry open while running the noisy dryer, be mindful one of your
friends just lost the opportunity to have a sound sleep. A sleep without
distractions is best for a clearer mind.
Well if all this seems difficult and you are still not convinced all I would
like to say is…“sleep over it”.
Happy hunting for some quality sleep.
Sources Contents: Inspired by (A trusted nonprofit
resource), Tips to sleep better
Sources Picture: Feeling the effects of sleep deprivation. This is a file
from the Wikimedia Commons. Commons is a freely licensed media file
Aalok Sharma
QHSE Superintendent
Summary of deficiencies noted in the campaign conducted
from July to September 2011 – Mooring and Anchoring
1. Six monthly record of the idling speed of the Windlass and
the Winch shaft not available on board. (MTM
[Note - This is checked prior Panama Canal transit].
2. “Tug push points” are not marked on the main deck to assist
the mooring team (SBP 7.1.29)
3. PA talk back system is either in-operational or unavailable.
(SBP 7.1.1)
4. Winches are not marked with the date of renewal/end to end
changing of ropes/wires.
5. Snap-back zones have not been marked on deck for all
fairleads and mooring bitts.
6. A spare set of brake linings of each type not kept on board as
spare. (MTM
7. Mooring decks do not have sufficient anti skid surface.
8. S.W.L not marked on all mooring equipment/fitting.
(SBP 7.1.10)
1. Anchor do not have 2 separate wire lashings with separate
turn buckles. (SBP
2. No records are available on board for inspection of mooring
wires and ropes at yearly intervals.
Shipboard Concentrated
QHSE Campaign No. 3
20% Effort
Imagine that you’ve just stepped into a new role as head of department.
Unsurprisingly, you’ve inherited a whole host of problems or defects
that need your attention.
Ideally, you want to focus your attention on fixing the most important
problems. But how do you decide which problems do you need to deal
with first? And are some problems caused by the same underlying
There is a simple technique for prioritizing problem-solving work
so that the first piece of work you do resolves the greatest number
of problems. It’s based on the Pareto Principle (also known as the
80/20 Rule) – the idea that 80% of problems may be caused by as
few as 20% of causes.
Step 1: Identify and list problems
Firstly, write a list of all of the problems that you need to resolve.
(ex: defect types, cost types, activity types). Decide what categories
you will use and for what time period you want to analyze your data.
Step 2: Identify the root cause of each problem
For each problem, identify its fundamental cause. (Techniques such
as ‘Brainstorming’, the ‘5 Whys’, ‘Cause and Effect Analysis’, and
‘Root Cause Analysis’ will help with this.)
Step 3: Number of occurrences (ex: number of defects, cost amount,
number of units, number of hours and number of orders). Decide
what measurement you will use for your analysis such as cost, time,
percent, and quantity.
Step 4: Score Problems
Now you need to score each problem. The scoring method you use
depends on the sort of problem you’re trying to solve.
For example, if you’re trying to rectify defects, you might score
problems on the basis of how high risk they are or how important
they are for the safe operation of the vessel.
Step 5: Group problems together by root cause
Next, group problems together by cause. For example, if three of
your problems are caused by lack of spares, put these in the same
Step 6: Add up the scores for each group
You can now add up the scores for each cause group. The group with
the top score is your highest priority, and the group with the lowest
score is your lowest priority.
Step 7: Take Action
Now you need to deal with the causes of your problems, dealing with
your top-priority problem, or group of problems, first.
Keep in mind that low scoring problems may not even be worth
bothering with - solving these problems may cost you more than the
solutions are worth.
Managing your Priorities
to Avoid Stress
01st January 2012: The requirement to contract with an approved
OSRO was enforced in all Chinese ports from 1st J anuary 2012.
With effect from 1st March 2012, this regulation was implemented in
ALL Chinese ports. (Regulation Update 71).
26th February 2012: The International health regulation authorized
ports list for issuance of Ship Sanitation certifcate. (Regulation
update 70).
01st January 2012: Amendments have been introduced to the IMDG
code, which come into force from 1st J anuary 2012 and include
editorial and technical changes to the operational requirements
contained in the code. (Regulation Update 68).
01st January 2012: Amendments (especially for timber products)
have been made to the IMSBC code, which will be adopted on a
voluntary basis on 1st J anuary 2012 and become mandatory on
1st J anuary 2013. (Regulation Update 69).
28th March 2012: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
established a No Discharge Zone (NDZ) for marine waters of the
state of California for sewage discharges California marine waters
extend out to three nautical miles from the baseline. (Regulation
Summary of deficiencies noted in the campaign conducted from
October to December 2011 – MARPOL and PSC deficiencies
1. Vessel does not have two spare filter cartridges on board for
OWS or spare motor plus stator (for heliscrew pump) for Oily
Bilge separator pump. (EMS 3.4.9/EMS 3.4.11)
2. The Oil Content Meter is not calibrated in last scheduled dry-
dock. (EMS 3.4.6)
3. The bilge/sludge piping is not as per class approved piping
diagram and awaiting class approval for modifications. (EMS 3.5)
4. All wilden pump and flexible hoses in Engine Room, of more than
1 inch diameter are not labeled with an ID number and not kept
under lock and key. (EMS 3.11)
1. Flag State certificates for crew are expiring or original
endorsements not available. (MSM 11.2)
2. Previous CSR originals are not available on board. (MSM 10.3)
3. Fireman’s outfit/SCBA found defective. (FEMP FM13/14)
4. Load line marks are not clearly visible. (MTM Annex I – Page 36)
5. The officers are not familiar with the procedures for taking data
back-up for VDR/SVDR (SBP 5.20.5)
Shipboard Concentrated
QHSE Campaign No. 4
Hazard categorization
CLASS ‘A’ HAZARD (MAJOR): A condition or practice likely to
cause permanent disability, loss of life or body part and/or extensive
loss of structure, equipment or material.
CLASS ‘B’ HAZARD (SERIOUS): A condition or practice likely to
cause serious injury or illness, resulting in temporary disability or
property damage that is disruptive but not expensive.
CLASS ‘C’ HAZARD (MINOR): A condition or practice likely to
cause minor non-disabling injury or illness or non-disruptive property
Always tackle hazards in the order of priority, i.e., A first and then B
and finally C.
Anglo Eastern Group
23/F, 248 Queen’s Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2863 6111 Fax: (852) 2861 2419
Cont... from page 1
Most ships are fitted with sewage treatment plants of the biological
treatment type where sewage is broken down by bacteria. These STPs
generally function as explained below:
Bacterial Sludge (airlift method)
Sewage Discharge
Air from Blowers
1. Bacterial decomposition of sewage occurs in the Aeration +
Clarification Chambers.
2. If the decomposition has been complete, clear liquid – free from any
floating solids - will pass onto the Chlorination Chamber.
3. In the Chlorination Chamber, chlorine tablets/sodium hypochlorite
solution is added to affect disinfection of this clear liquid.
4. In newer plants, a dechlorination liquid/neutralizer (eg., sodium
bisulphite solution) is dosed at the sewage discharge pump outlet to
reduce chlorine content to acceptable levels.
The Best Management Practices (BMPs) associated with these plants
are as below:
1. The aeration blower should be run continuously. If not, then the
bacteria in the plant will die causing a loss in the plant’s treatment
ability. Also, this may result in choking of the nozzles for air discharge.
2. Chemicals should not be used for cleaning the toilets. This will also kill
the bacteria and result in a loss of the plant’s treatment ability. Please
check your chemical supplier’s catalogue for the product to be used
for this purpose. (Eg., BIOTAL MDS-2000 by Drew Ameroid)
3. Diverting grey water to the plant in excess of its hydraulic loading
capacity will also cause loss of the plant’s treatment ability.
4. Backflushing the plant will cause depletion of some bacteria and
should be carried out at a frequency specified in the Maker’s manual.
It should preferably be done after departure port so that by the time
the vessel reaches the next port, the bacteria has regenerated and
is working at its capacity. Backflushing at too less frequency than
specified may result in choking of the sludge return pipe and the flow
through the flexible pipe may not be visible.
5. The plant should always be kept in use and not put in/out of use
when vessel is reaching/departing from port. Reason being that
if the plant is put out of use, then the bacteria will die. It will then
take approx 7 days for the bacteria to regenerate.
6. In order to keep the bacteria working at optimum efficiency, specialized
bacteria strains (eg., MSD-PAK by Drew Ameroid) can be used.
Please check your chemical supplier’s catalogue for similar products
to be used for this purpose.
In all of the above conditions, an examination of the effluent from the
plant will reveal the colour to be black. Floating solids will be visible and
there will be foul odour from the effluent. If the vessel happens to be in
port with the above conditions, then the vessel may then be charged with
discharging untreated sewage into the port waters or with having a non-
functioning sewage treatment plant and be liable for a fine. Hence the
Maker’s instructions should be strictly complied with at all times.
Anant Thankappan
QHSE Superintendent
4. Hot work Permit Parameters must be Strictly
i The tool box meeting must include all the personnel who are
involved in the hot work. Each person’s role must be clearly
defined and explained by the issuer of the permit.
i Hot work permit is not a Gas free certificate. It must not be
assumed that the atmosphere will remain safe throughout
the duration of the validity of the permit. The atmosphere must
be checked at regular intervals and prior to start of work after a
scheduled break, by a responsible officer. Apprentices must not be
relied on taking the gas readings.
i The space where hot work is scheduled must have continuous
ventilation to ensure no buildup of gases take place during the hot
work process.
5. Trust your tools
i Ensure that the welding/cutting equipment is inspected by a
qualified person prior to use.
i Ensure that the welding equipment is suitably grounded.
i Appropriate PPE is used including fire retardant garments, long
cuffed gloves, safety shoes, eye and face protection shields and
respirators for the enclosed spaces.
i Gas instruments should be calibrated prior putting in use and
operators should be trained in their use.
6. Be ready for an emergency
i Ensure a continuous and effective fire watch is maintained during the
hot work at the location of the work and the adjoining compartments.
i Ensure emergency response and evacuation procedure is well
understood by all personnel involved including shore contractors.
i Ensure the fire watch is maintained for a suitable duration after
the completion of the hot work to ensure no hotspots go unnoticed
after completion.
Last but not the least at any time if the Master/issuer of the permit
finds that the conditions are no longer safe to carry out the job,
he should suspend the hot work and cancel the permit.
A chain is as strong as its weakest link. The signing of a permit is not
a mere formality but an undertaking that the person understands the
risks involved and what precautions are necessary. The mere fact that
the discussion and training is on for decades, is proof enough that
each new entrant in our industry must be made aware of the hazards
and the consequences of taking the hot work permit system lightly.
1. H&S Manual Chapter 5 2. TOM Chapter 11
3. ISGOTT Chapter 9.4/11.0 4. COSWP Chapter 16
5. MSN 957 (M+F)
Height of
Work Area
Operator’s Side Opposite Side
Gas Cut Welding Gouging Gas Cut Welding Gouging
0 – 5 metres 1.5 m 5.0 m 4.0 m 7.5 m 2.0 m 2.0 m
5 – 10 metres 1.5 m 5.0 m 5.0 m 10.0 m 2.0 m 2.0 m
10 – 15 metres 1.5 m 5.0 m 7.5 m 15.0 m 2.0 m 2.0 m
>15 metres 1.5 m 5.0 m 10.0 m 20.0 m 2.0 m 2.0 m
Figure A: Radius of area to be cleaned in preparation for Hotwork in tanks
15 20 21
Oxygen - Percentage by volume
Dilution with air
Critical dilution with air
ilution w
ith air
t g
Figure B: Flammability composition diagram – Hydrocarbon gas/air/inert gas mixture