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Guideline for work in machinery spaces on board cargo ship

Merchant Shipping regulations require every dangerous part of a ship's machinery to be securely guarded unless it is so positioned or constructed that it is as safe as if it were securely guarded or is otherwise safeguarded.



All steam pipes, exhaust pipes and fittings which by their location and temperature present a hazard, should be adequately lagged or otherwise shielded. The insulation of hot surfaces should be properly maintained, particularly in the vicinity of oil systems.

Personnel required to work in machinery spaces which have high noise levels should wear suitable hearing protectors .

Where a high noise level in a machinery space, or the wearing of ear protectors, may mask an audible alarm, a visual alarm of suitable intensity should be provided, where practicable, to attract attention and indicate that an audible alarm is sounding. This should preferably take the form of a light or lights with rotating reflectors. Guidance may be found in the IMO Code on Alarms and Indicators.

The source of any oil leakage should be located and repaired as soon as practicable.

Waste oil should not be allowed to accumulate in the bilges or on tank tops. Any leakage of fuel, lubricating and hydraulic oil should be disposed of in accordance with Oil Pollution Regulations at the earliest opportunity. Tank tops and bilges should, wherever practicable, be painted a light colour and kept clean and well-illuminated in the vicinity of pressure oil pipes so that leaks may be readily located.

Great caution is required when filling any settling or other oil tank to prevent it overflowing, especially in an engine room where exhaust pipes or other hot surfaces are directly below. Manholes or other openings in the tanks should always be secured so that should a tank be overfilled the oil is directed to a safe place through the overflow arrangements.

Particular care should be taken when filling tanks which have their sounding pipes in the machinery spaces to ensure that weighted cocks are closed. In no case should a weighted cock on a fuel or lubricated oil tank sounding pipe or on a fuel, lubricating or hydraulic oil tank gauge be secured in the open position.

Engine room bilges should at all times be kept clear of rubbish and other substances so that mud-boxes are not blocked and the bilges may be readily and easily pumped.

Remote controls fitted for stopping machinery or pumps or for operating oil-tank quick-closing valves in the event of fire, should be tested regularly to ensure that they are functioning satisfactorily. This also applies to the controls on fuel storage daily service tanks (other than double bottoms) and lubricating oil tanks.

Cleaning solvents should always be used in accordance with manufacturers' instructions and in an area that is well ventilated.

Care should be taken to ensure that spare gear is properly stowed and items of machinery under overhaul safely secured so that they do not break loose and cause injury or damage even in the heaviest weather.



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