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New thinking on enclosed spaces management essential to saving lives says Ocean Technologies Group

Raal Harris, Group Creative Director of Ocean Technologies Group

A recently updated title launched by the Group will help seafarers manage enclosed spaces and their safe entry

New initiatives are in motion to give greater emphasis to the ongoing problem of enclosed spaces onboard ships. UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s (MAIB’s) has proposed changes to regulations on commercial fishing vessels following the death of a crew member aboard the UK registered Sunbeam. It has made a recommendation, that was accepted by the MCA, to apply the Merchant Shipping (Entry into Dangerous Spaces) Regulations 1988 to all commercial fishing vessels.

Work is also ongoing at the IMO being carried out as part of an initiative within the HEIG (Human Element Industry Group), comprising leading NGOs and chaired by The Nautical Institute’s John Lloyd who commented:

“Every year the shipping industry suffers appalling loss of life in enclosed spaces.  We need a massive effort to address these shocking deaths; deaths that can and should be avoided.  Better design, more effective time management, alternative options to space entry and proper training are all ways that can help improve safety in these spaces.  The HEIG regards this as the single most important area for seafarer safety and we welcome every initiative that can help raise awareness, improve safety and save lives.”

Against this backdrop Ocean Technologies Group (OTG) has created a new programme on the management of enclosed spaces which gives new advice to seafarers on how to manage these notoriously dangerous areas. It has been created to highlight new requirements in accordance with the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT), edition 6.

The key learning outcomes of the title include making sure enclosed spaces onboard are appropriately labelled, imposing controlled access to enclosed spaces at all times, ensuring entry to these areas are only made when absolutely necessary and being aware of the additional guidelines referenced in ISGOTT, edition 6, which are currently not included in SOLAS.

One of the key contributors to the HEIG group spearheading this initiative is Capt. Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General, of InterManager, who commented, “I have been championing a greater focus on Enclosed Space Entry for many years and I am impressed with OTG’s Management of Enclosed Spaces e-learning. Not only is it very well presented but it also provides up to date and extremely important new thinking on enclosed spaces and their management. Our next challenge is how to make sure the whole industry takes this on board, not just in the tanker sector but the rest of the global commercial and leisure fleets.”

OTG believes the maritime industry needs to put greater emphasis on improvements in this area as enclosed spaces present one of the biggest hazards to those working on board ships.

“Our training brands have a long track record of developing training materials to benefit seafarer safety and Enclosed Spaces have remained in constant focus,” said Raal Harris, OTG’s Group Creative Director.

“We are committed to working closely with regulatory bodies, trade associations and of course our clients, to continue to innovate and update our titles to ensure they stay in step with the latest thinking on these important subjects,” he continued.

The title is available on The Ocean Learning Platform the groups new best of breed learning management system available on vessel and in the cloud to ensure seamless alignment of ship and shore training initiatives.

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