29 JULY 2019

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has issued a poster (below) reminding seafarers of the dangers of entering enclosed spaces.

The RMI Maritime Administrator recently received a report of an enclosed space entry incident on an RMI-registered bulk carrier that resulted in the deaths of two seafarers and serious injuries to two others. In 2018, four seafarers died in enclosed space entry incidents on an RMI-registered tanker and two bulk carriers.

There are some similarities between this and other recent enclosed space entry incidents, including:

  • The lack of awareness by crewmembers of the potential hazards posed by the improper entry into enclosed spaces;
  • senior crewmembers failing to ensure that ship management’s enclosed entry procedures are adhered to prior to directing junior crewmembers to enter an enclosed space; and
  • the Master of the ship not being notified that an enclosed space was going to be entered.

The Administrator strongly recommends that ship managers review and amend, if necessary, their enclosed space entry procedures to ensure they comply with the requirements outlined in
RMI Marine Notice 7-041-1 and are adequate to ensure the safety of crewmembers. The Administrator also strongly recommends that Masters hold a special safety meeting to review the notice or bulletin issued by ship management.

Safe entry into enclosed spaces has been the focus of extensive industry discussion and crewmember training recently. However, shipboard incidents relating to the improper entry into enclosed spaces continue to occur.

Stevedore Deaths Demonstrate Enclosed Spaces Risks, U.S. Coast Guard Warns on Confined Space Entry After Three Die Another Five Fatalities with Solid Bulk Cargoes. Time to Rethink Safety With Solid Bulk Cargoes If Nobody Entered Enclosed Spaces…
Time to Rethink Safety in Enclosed Spaces.

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