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This section gives general advice for

the safety of personnel working on the
vehicle decks of ro-ro ferries.

The movement, stowage and securing

of vehicles on vehicle decks assisted
by at least one competent person.
Smoking and naked flames should not
be permitted on any vehicle decks.

Conspicuous No Smoking or No
Smoking/Naked Lights signs should be
There should be no unauthorized
persons on vehicle decks at any time,
and there should be no entry to vehicle
decks when the vessel is at sea unless
specifically permitted.

Passengers and drivers should not be

permitted to remain on vehicle decks
without the express authority of a
responsible ships officer.
The period prior to disembarkation
when passengers and drivers are
requested to return to their vehicles
should be kept to a minimum

Where closed circuit television (CCTV)

cameras are fitted, they should, where
practicable, have an uninterrupted view
of the vehicle deck.
The use of CCTV for continuous watch
does not necessarily preclude the need
for car deck patrols - e.g. coupled with
fire patrols of passenger

Vehicle decks should have adequate
ventilation at all times, with special regard to
hazardous substances.
On passenger vessels, ventilation fans in
closed ro-ro spaces must normally be run
continuously whenever vehicles are on
An increased number of air changes may be
required when vehicles are being loaded or
unloaded, or where flammable gases or
liquids are stowed in a closed ro-ro space. .

To reduce the accumulation of fumes,

drivers should be instructed to stop their
engines as soon as practicable after
embarking and to avoid starting up prior
to departure until instructed to do so.
During loading and discharging ventilation
may be improved by keeping both bow
and stern doors open, provided that there
is adequate freeboard at these openings
. When there is doubt about the freshness
of the atmosphere,

arrangements should be made for

testing of the atmosphere to ensure
the maintenance of 21 per cent
oxygen and a carbon monoxide
content below 50ppm in the
atmosphere of the space.

Fire safety/prevention
Fire detection systems should be
switched on whenever vehicle decks
are unattended.
Deck and engine crew should be
trained in the use of the drencher
systems and their operation.
Continuous monitoring of vehicle decks
by CCTV or regular fire patrols should
also be in place

All fire doors should be kept closed on

vehicle decks when the vessel is at sea.
MS (Fire Protection Small Ships)
Regs SI 1998 No.1011 and MS (Fire
Large Ships) SI 1998 No. 1012

Personnel working on vehicle decks should not

be exposed to the equivalent of 90dB(A) or
greater when averaged over an 8 hour day.
Hearing protection should be available for use
when the noise level is equivalent to or exceeds
85dB(A) averaged over an 8 hour day, and
should be worn when it is equivalent to or
exceeds 90dB(A) averaged over an 8 hour day.
For further guidance on noise levels see the
Code of Practice for Noise Levels in Ships
(revised 1990).

Safe movement
Pedestrians should be warned of vehicle movements
when entering or crossing car or vehicle decks and
keep to walkways when moving about the ship.
As far as possible, routes used by vehicles should be
separated from pedestrian passageways, and the
use of ships ramps for pedestrian access should be
Ramps which are used by vehicles should not be
used for pedestrian access unless there is suitable
segregation of vehicles and pedestrians

Segregation can be achieved through

the provision of a suitably protected
walkway, or by ensuring that
pedestrians and vehicles do not use
the ramp at the same time (See the
Code of Practice on the Stowage and
Securing of Vehicles on Ro-Ro Ships
Section 2.6).

Crew members should exercise great care

when supervising the driving, marshalling and
stowing of vehicles to ensure that no person is
put at risk. The following precautions should be
Crew should be easily identifiable by
Communications between deck officers and
ratings should be clear and concise to maintain
the safety of passengers and vehicles.

There should be suitable traffic control

arrangements, including speed limits, and
where appropriate the use of signallers
Collaboration may be necessary with
shore side management where they also
control vehicle movements on board ship.
Hand signals used by loading
supervisors and personnel directing
vehicles should be unambiguous.
Adequate illumination should be provided.

Personnel directing vehicles should

keep out of the way of moving vehicles,
and particularly those that are
reversing, by standing to the side, and
where possible should remain within
the drivers line of sight.
Suitable high visibility clothing should
be worn by all personnel working on
vehicle decks

Crew members should be wary that

vehicles may lose control on ramps
and sloping decks, especially when
wet, and that vehicles on ramps with
steep inclines may be susceptible to
damage. Ramps should have a
suitable slip resistant surface.
Where fitted, audible alarms should
be sounded by vehicles that are

Inspection of vehicles
Before being accepted for shipment,
every freight vehicle should be
inspected externally by a competent
and responsible person or persons to
check that it is in a satisfactory
condition for shipment - for example,
its suitability for securing to the
ship in accordance with the approved
cargo securing Manual

Safe systems of work should be provided

in order to ensure that all vehicle
movements are directed by a
competent person.
Personnel moving about the ship
should be aware of moving ramps,
moveable decks etc.
Where possible such ramps and decks
should be fitted with audio and visual

It is important to ensure, so far as is

reasonably practicable, that on each
vehicle the fuel tank is not so full as
to create a possibility of spillage. No
vehicle showing visual signs of an
overfilled tank should be loaded.

Personnel should be aware of

hazardous units as detailed on the
stowage plan and indicated by labels,
placards and marks, and should be on
guard against the carriage of
undeclared dangerous goods

Shippers special advice or guidelines
regarding handling and stowage of
individual vehicles should be
observed. (MGN 19) ` Vehicles

so far as possible, be aligned in a fore

and aft direction; be closely stowed
athwartships so that, in the event of
any failure in the securing
arrangements or from any other cause,
the transverse movement is restricted

However, sufficient distance should

be provided between vehicles to
permit safe access for the crew and
for passengers getting into and out
of vehicles and going to and from
accesses serving vehicle spaces; be
so loaded that there are no excessive
lists or trims likely to cause damage
to the vessel or shore structures.

Vehicles should not :

be parked on permanent walkways;
be parked so as to obstruct the
operating controls of bow and stern
doors, entrances to accommodation
spaces, ladders, stairways,
companionways or access hatches, firefighting equipment, controls to deck
scupper valves and controls to fire
dampers in ventilation trunks; be
stowed across water spray fire curtains,
if these are installed.

spaces below the vehicle deck should

be clearly marked with yellow paint and
kept free from obstruction at all times.
Parking brakes of each vehicle or each
element of a vehicle, where provided,
should be applied and the vehicle
should, where possible, be left in gear.

During the voyage the lashings

should be regularly inspected to
ensure that vehicles remain safely
secured. Personnel inspecting vehicle
spaces during a voyage should
exercise caution in order to avoid
being injured by moving or swaying
If necessary, the ships course
should be altered to reduce
movement or dangerous sway when
lashings are being adjusted

Ro- Ro Check Lists

Preloading Checks
1. Ensure that the Ramps, Lifts and Doors are in good
condition and operating
2. Ensure that the working area is provided with
adequate illumination. Hand
held torches or lanterns may be provided in case of
working in shadow areas.
3. All vehicle decks are clear of rubbish, dirt, oil,
grease and stores etc.
4. Dangerous goods are to be stowed as per IMDG
code recommendation and segregation as necessary.

5. Ensure all securing and lashing gears

are checked, prepared and in position.
6. Ensure ventilation and exhaust
system working satisfactorily.
7. Ensure all access points are provided
with lifebuoy with self igniting lights
and safety line with quoit.

During Loading
1. No smoking should be ensured on all vehicle
2. Check the vehicle itself and ensure that the
load is properly stowed and
secured for all seagoing condition.
3. All vehicle movements are to be strictly
monitored with proper hand
signalling. Ensure no reversing or any
negligent movement which should be avoided.
4. As soon as the vehicle is in position, brakes
should be on and engines switched off.

5. Drivers and passengers are to be cleared

from vehicle deck as soon as possible.
6. Ramps and Platforms are to be operated as
per the laid down safe operatingprocedures.
7. All dangerous goods are to be segregated
and stowed as per the stowage plan.
8. Ensure that there is no obstruction of Water
spray fire curtains, Controls forbow and stern
doors, Accesses and ladders, Fire fighting
equipment andsafety appliances

9. Ensure that sufficient room between lines

of vehicle been provided for walkway access.
10. Ensure that the landing legs of the semi
trailers been located on the deck strong
11. Ensure wooden dunnage been provided
for tracked vehicle such as bulldozer etc. to
prevent sliding due to metal to metal

Prior Sailing
1. Ensure the cargo is secured with:
a) Correct equipment
b) No free play in vehicle suspension.
c) Lashings are correctly located on vehicle.
d) Lashings are under equal tension per item.
e) Vehicles on inclined decks are properly
2. All ship cargo handling gear such as
forklifts are correctly stowed and secured.
3. Ensure bow/stern doors are correctly