Dangerous solid bulk cargoes which have the potential to sink a ship are the focus of both new legislation and a new training package from leading maritime training expert Videotel.
On January 1st 2011 the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code – the IMSBC Code – officially comes in force. The IMSBC Code is mandatory under the provisions of the SOLAS Convention and supersedes the Code of Safe Working Practice for Bulk Cargoes (BC Code). The Code details how to handle some 150 different types of cargo and to assess their suitability for carriage. It also presents additional information including the Code of Safe Working Practice for the Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code) and makes recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships, applicable to the fumigation of cargo holds.
Many solid bulk cargoes have serious risks associated with them that can affect ship stability, cause structural damage or pose health hazards to those on board. Videotel’s Dangerous & Difficult Cargoes series addresses this potentially life-threatening issue. Part 1 – Dangerous & Difficult Bulk Cargoes: Best Practice & the IMSBC Code — has already been released, while Dangerous & Difficult Bulk Cargoes Part 2 — Minerals & Man Made Derivatives will be released this spring.
The first programme details the IMSBC code, outlines best practices and highlights the group system used to identify cargoes: (Group A —cargo that may liquefy and therefore cause stability issues; Group B — cargo that may chemically change to cause explosion or toxic gas; Group C—cargoes not liable to liquefy or cause chemical hazard). Dangerous & Difficult Bulk Cargoes Part 2 outlines the catastrophic failures which can occur to the structural soundness of even the largest bulk carriers when corrosive chemical reactions take place in hazardous cargoes and identifies effective risk-management strategies.
Stephen Bond, Deputy Chairman of Videotel, says: “There have been a number of serious accidents in recent years, some involving loss of life, caused by dangerous cargoes. Identification of cargo and an understanding of its properties are key to preventing such accidents. We are pleased to be able to make this vital training series which aims to avoid further fatalities.”
Videotel has been fortunate to have a number of leading world experts involved in the production of this important training series including Roger Holt of Holt Maritime Ltd, Rob Lomas and Ian Harrison from Intercargo. Roger Holt says: “In light of the recent tragic loss of life surrounding a number of shipments of bulk cargoes with high moisture content, the timing of this important training video could not have been better. In my opinion, every bulk carrier should have a copy on board and every crew member in a position of authority vis a vis the carriage of bulk cargoes should be required to ‘mark, learn and inwardly digest’ its contents. I congratulate Videotel on the production of an excellent training product which underlines the importance of the work carried out by the IMO with the coming into force of the IMSBC Code.”