Enclosed spaces remain serious safety hazard for seafarers

ITF: More seafarers dying in confined spaces 
PHOTO CREDIT: evolvetraining


Enclosed Space Entry remains one of the gravest onboard safety hazards facing seafarers today, Capt. Kuba Szymanski, secretary-general of trade association InterManager, reiterated to delegates attending the International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit at this year’s London International Shipping Week.

InterManager earlier this year conducted a three-month survey on the issue, he related, receiving data from almost 250 ships representing more than 5,000 seafarers.

Responses showed that the issue was far from solved, he said, with “numerous factors” reported to be contributing to incidence of perfectly healthy crew members setting off to inspect confined spaces aboard ship only never to return.

Szymanski pointed to safety culture failures, both ashore and onboard, in allowing such dangerous missions to take place, as well as ship design features themselves such as L-shaped tanks with only one probe located near the entrance which couldn’t determine the entire space was gas free.

InterManager will now continue its campaign to highlight the issue, he said, seeking to involve other industry stakeholders as well.

Meanwhile Szymanski showed enthusiasm for a new gas-freeing solution aiming to reduce enclosed space risk that was presented on Tuesday.