When bulk cargoes shift, liquefy, catch fire or explode as a consequence of poor loading procedures, the consequences can be massive. Ships may capsize, lose stability or sustain severe structural damage.
Such happenings enhance the risks and occurrence of death, injury, insurance claims, operational delay and considerable expense.
This prompted the UK P&I Club, Lloyd’s Register and Intercargo to produce a pocket guide and checklist for ships’ officers and agents who arrange cargoes for loading.
Carrying solid bulk cargoes safely: Guidance for crews on the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code outlines the precautions to be taken before accepting solid bulk cargoes for shipment; sets out procedures for safe loading and carriage; and details the primary hazards associated with different types of cargoes. A quick reference checklist and flowchart summarize the steps to be followed.
The guide reflects the compliance requirements of the IMSBC Code, which became mandatory on January 1, 2011 under the SOLAS Convention. It addresses the Code’s three key groups: which may liquefy, chemical hazards and all others. Appendices cover IMO regulations and guidance relating to the transport of solid bulk cargoes and provide an overview of the IMSBC Code.
It comes in a laminated flipover format for on-the-spot use and for enhancing awareness among operators, shippers and charterers.
Sam James, Lloyd’s Register’s Global Head of Fire and Safety, said the guide would be extremely useful to crew members as an aide memoir. “This guide will heighten awareness of seafarers, managers, charterers and shippers to the hazards associated with carrying solid bulk cargoes. Everyone involved has a responsibility to ensure cargo is accurately declared and the hazards mitigated.”
UK Club Loss Prevention Director Karl Lumbers emphasizes that the new Code has significantly increased the obligations on both suppliers and recipients of solid cargoes. “The main purpose of the Guide is to provide on the spot references to help in practical situations. It outlines the precautions to be taken before accepting cargoes for shipment and the procedures to be followed for safe loading and carriage, and details the primary hazards associated with different solid bulk cargoes. In giving all parties a better appreciation of the IMSBC Code, the Guide provides greater confidence in managing the risks of carrying solid bulk cargoes and achieving compliance with SOLAS.”
Lloyd’s Register and the UK P&I Club have produced a number of checklists to aid safety and regulation compliance. Subjects have included Port State Control detention, marine fire safety and the Maritime Labour Convention.