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Everything you need to know about taking Grain aboard in bulk

Grain includes one of the following:-

(1) Wheat
(2) Maize
(3) Oats
(4) Rye
(5) Barley
(6) Rice
(7) Pulses
(8) Seeds


(Any of the above can cause self combustion due to the gases given off)

 

(Q) How can you find out if you can carry 20,000 tonnes of grain on his vessel?
(a)
You need to refer to the vessel's stability book to see what the vessel can carry in each hold

Also check out the following

(1) Check out the grain loading plans

(2) Check out the stowage details for the grain (Stowage factor which you get from the shipper)
Find out the ships volume for that compartment which is in the ships cargo plan, then you get the stowage factor from the shipper, the person who own's the grain

(3) Find out what type of grain your taking onboard and see if it gives off dangerous gases

(4) Find out the freeboard/draught before loading and after loading

(5) make sure the grain cannot shift by using boards transversely and athwart-ships to minimize F.S.E.

(6) Check for overheating (Sweating by cargo sweat or ships sweat) Both are very dangerous (both can self-ignite)

(Q) What is Cargo Sweat and what is ships sweat?
(a)
Cargo Sweat is where the air in the hold is hotter that the air outside the hold
Ships sweat is where the air outside the hold is hotter that the air inside the hold

(Q) What check's would you take before loading "Grain"?
(a)
Make sure that the vessel is totally empty and fumigated (it can be oxygen deficient or have flammable gases in it)

(Q) What is the main danger when going into a hold that has not been fumigated?
(a)
No oxygen, the fumes inside a hold can kill, it's happened a lot of times in the past

(Q) What are the Rules for entering an enclosed space?

(1) Get the skippers permission
(2) Ventilate the enclosed space
(3) Test the oxygen count
(4) Put S.C.B.A. (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) on (if needed)
(5) Use a lifeline
(6) Have someone trained in first aid close by
(7) Have fire-extinguishers close by
(8) Use hard-hats, protective clothing, steel-toe cap boots and gloves
(9) Inform the skipper when done

(Q) If you have a hold that has slack tanks with the amount of grain in it, what should you do with this?
(a) Look up the SOLAS manual this will give you the angle of repose and the amount of space you need fro expansion for the grain to expand

(Q) What is an Angle of Repose?
(a) This is the maximum angle you can have the grain at

Check out the stability book to make sure you can safely take this amount of grain onboard
Make sure the ship is fumigated before the grain is taken aboard (it can be oxygen deficient or have flammable gases in it)

When a ship is fumigated, the detailed recommendations contained in the Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships" should be followed. Spaces adjacent to fumigated spaces should be treated as if fumigated.

CONCLUSION

Failure to observe simple procedures can lead to people being unexpectedly overcome when entering enclosed spaces. Observance of the principals outlined above will form a reliable basis for assessing risks in such spaces and for taking necessary precautions

Check out the grain loading plans
Check out the stowage details for the grain
Find out the type of grain carried and see what (if any) gases it gives off
Find the total weight of the grain
Find out what draft and freeboard you have before loading and after loading
Make sure that the grain cannot shift by taking precautions using boards transversely and athwart ships to minimize F.S.E. (Free Surface Effect)
Watch for overheating (sweating though Cargo sweat or Ships sweat) both are dangerous and can ignite and explode by itself

 

Cargo Information

The shipper must supply the master with all the relevant information well in advance prior to taking any cargo onboard, the master needs this information so he can plan how to stow the cargo so it will be safe, the master will require the following information;

For general cargoes or cargo units

(1) A description of the cargo
(2) the gross weight of the cargo
(3) The Dimensions of the cargo

(4) Any special properties of the cargo


For Bulk Cargoes

(1) The stowage factor of the cargo
(2) The trimming procedures
(3) For concentrate or other cargo which may liquefy, additional information in the form of a certificate indicating the moisture content of the cargo and its transportable moisture limit;


Bulk cargoes which are not classified in accordance with Regulation VII/2 of the SOLAS Convention, but have chemical properties that may create a potential hazard

Information on the chemical properties besides the information for bulk cargoes above


All information must be given to the master prior to loading any cargo on proper shipping documentation (the master must check that this documentation is correct before taking the cargo onboard – accidents has happened because of the documentation being wrong)


With containers and cargo units the shipper must check that the gross tonnage/dimensions are correct (an near accident happened with a document saying the gross tonnage of a container was 3 tonnes – with it’s contents, the master was asked to take the container aboard with the ships crane – the crane had a S.W.L. of 5 tonnes, when the crane took the initial weight of the container, the initial strain taken made
the ship list badly towards the quay, the master screamed to stop the crane which the crane operator did, later they found the gross weight of the container was 7 tonnes – a misprint – but it could have been a nasty accident)
If the shipper or the agent does not supply the documentation to the master the forwarder shall supply the information well in advance
A master will not take cargo aboard without all the information he requires (this is an offence if he does)


Cargo Documentation

Every cargo except a ship carrying grain shall have the following documentation

(1) the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing adopted by the Organization by Resolution A.714(17), 1992 edition;

(2) the Code of Safe Practice for Ships Carrying Timber Deck Cargoes adopted by the Organization by Resolution A.715(17), 1992 edition; and

(3) the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code) adopted by the Organization by Resolution A.434(XI), 1991 edition.


Every vessel carrying grain shall have the following documentation onboard;


International Grain Code

Stowage and securing

The operator and master must ensure that the following are undertaken;

(1) cargo and cargo units carried on or under deck are loaded, stowed and secured so as to prevent as far as is practicable, throughout the voyage, damage or hazard to the ship and the persons on board, and loss of cargo overboard

(2) appropriate precautions are taken during loading and transport of heavy cargoes or cargoes with abnormal physical dimensions to ensure that no structural damage to the ship occurs and to maintain adequate stability throughout the voyage;

(3) appropriate precautions are taken during loading and transport of cargo units on board ro-ro ships, especially with regard to the securing arrangements on board such ships and on the cargo units and with regard to the strength of the securing points and lashings.

The shipper must ensure that:

(1) the cargo is packed and secured so as to prevent, throughout any voyage, damage or hazard to the ship and the persons on board; and

(2) if the cargo unit is a container, it is not loaded to more than the maximum gross weight indicated on the Safety Approval Plate attached to the container in accordance with the International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC 1972), published by the Organization.


Oxygen analysis and gas detection equipment
Ships carrying cargoes that emit a toxic or flammable gas or causes oxygen depletion


(1) In the case of a ship transporting or accepting for transport a bulk cargo which is liable to emit a toxic or flammable gas, or cause oxygen depletion in the cargo hold, an appropriate instrument for measuring the concentration of gas or oxygen in the air shall be provided together with detailed instructions for its use. Such an instrument shall be of a type approved by a Certifying Authority, and the crew shall be trained in its use.

(2) The operator of a ship which transports, or the master who accepts for carriage, such a bulk cargo without ensuring that paragraph (1) has been complied with shall be guilty of an offence.


The use of pesticides in ships

(1) Where pesticides are used in cargo spaces, they shall be used in accordance with Merchant Shipping Notice M.1534 ("Recommendations on the Safe Use of Pesticides in Ships").

(2) If paragraph (1) is not complied with the operator and master shall each be guilty of an offence.
Special Provisions For Bulk Cargoes Other Than Grain


A master will only accept a bulk cargo in the following conditions

(1) Prior to loading a bulk cargo the master shall be in possession of approved stability information, as required by the Merchant Shipping (Load Line) Rules 1968[4], containing comprehensive information on the ship's stability and on the distribution of cargo and ballast for the standard loading conditions

(2) The master shall not accept for loading concentrates or other cargoes which may liquefy unless either the moisture content of the cargo indicated in the certificate referred to in regulation 4(1)(b) is less than its transportable moisture limit or appropriate safety arrangements are made to the satisfaction of the Certifying Authority to ensure adequate stability in the case of cargo shifting, and the ship has adequate structural integrity.

(3) Prior to loading a bulk cargo referred to in regulation 4(1)(c), appropriate special precautions for its safe carriage shall be taken.

(4) The operator shall ensure that the master is furnished with the information referred to in paragraph (1).

(5)
(a) The master shall not accept cargo for loading unless he has possession of approved stability information, as required by the Merchant Shipping (Load Line) Rules 1968[4], containing comprehensive information on the ship's stability and on the distribution of cargo and ballast for the standard loading conditions

(b) The master shall not accept for loading concentrates or other cargoes which may liquefy unless either the moisture content of the cargo indicated in the certificate referred to in regulation 4(1)(b) is less than its transportable moisture limit or appropriate safety arrangements are made to the satisfaction of the Certifying Authority to ensure adequate stability in the case of cargo shifting, and the ship has adequate structural integrity.

(c) he is satisfied that, in the case of a cargo to which paragraph (3) applies, the precautions required by that paragraph have been taken.
Stowage of bulk cargo


(1) The master shall ensure that bulk cargoes are loaded and trimmed reasonably level, as necessary, to the boundaries of the cargo space so as to minimize the risk of shifting.

(2) When bulk cargoes are carried in 'tween decks, the master shall ensure that the hatchways of such 'tween decks shall be closed in those cases where the loading information indicates an unacceptable level of stress of the bottom structure if the hatchways are left open. The cargo shall be trimmed reasonably level and shall either extend from side to side or be secured by additional longitudinal divisions of sufficient strength. The safe load-carrying capacity of the 'tween decks shall be observed to ensure that the deck-structure is not overloaded

Requirements for Cargo Ships Carrying Grain
International Grain Code

(1) A ship carrying grain shall comply with the requirements of the International Grain Code

(2) Without prejudice to paragraph (1) or any other requirement of these Regulations, the operator and master shall ensure that:
(a) a ship loading grain complies with the International Grain Code; and
(b) subject to paragraph (4)(b), the ship has on board a document of authorization as required by the International Grain Code. In the case of a United Kingdom ship the document of authorization shall be issued by the Certifying Authority.

(3) Except when a ship may be in distress, the operator and master shall not permit a ship loaded with grain in bulk outside the United Kingdom to enter any port in the United Kingdom so laden, unless the ship has been loaded in accordance with the International Grain Code.

(4) No person shall order the commencement of the loading of grain into a ship in the United Kingdom unless he is satisfied that:
(a) the ship has on board a document of authorization referred to in paragraph (2)(b); or
(b) the master has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Certifying Authority that the ship will, in its proposed loading condition, comply with the appropriate requirements of the International Grain Code and has obtained a document to this effect signed by a surveyor of such a Certifying Authority.

(5) An operator or master who contravenes paragraph (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence.

(6) A person who contravenes paragraph (4) shall be guilty of an offence.

Enforcement
Power to detain


12. In any case where a ship does not comply with the requirements of these Regulations the ship shall be liable to be detained and section 284 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (which relates to the detention of a ship) shall have effect in relation to the ship, subject to the modification that as if for the words "this Act", wherever they appear, there were substituted the words "the Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Cargoes) Regulations 1997".

Penalties and defences


13. - (1) A person guilty of an offence under Part II, III or IV of these Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine or both.

(2) In any proceedings for an offence under Part II, III or IV of these Regulations it shall be a defence for a person to prove that all reasonable steps had been taken by that person to ensure compliance with the Regulations.

Offences due to the fault of another person
14. Where the commission by any person of an offence under Part II, III or IV of these Regulations is due to the act or default of some other person, that other person shall be guilty of the offence. A person may be charged with and convicted of the offence by virtue of this Regulation whether or not proceedings are taken against the first mentioned person.

Equivalents and exemptions

15.
(i) Where these Regulations, or information referred to in these Regulations, require that a particular piece of equipment, or type thereof, shall be provided or carried in a ship, or that any particular provision shall be made, the Certifying Authority shall permit any other piece of equipment to be provided or carried, or any other provision to be made in that ship if he is satisfied by trials thereof or otherwise that such other piece of equipment or provision is at least as effective as that required by these Regulations, or information referred to in these Regulations.

(ii) For the purposes of these Regulations, the results of verification and tests carried out by bodies or laboratories of other member States of the Organization offering suitable and satisfactory guarantees of technical and professional competence and independence shall be accepted.

(iii) The Secretary of State may exempt any ship from all or any of the provisions of these Regulations as may be specified in the exemption on such terms (if any) as he may specify and, depending on the circumstances, he may also alter or cancel such an exemption.


SOLAS Chapter XII regulations


The regulations state that all new bulk carriers 150 metres or more in length (built after 1 July 1999) carrying cargoes with a density of 1,000 kg/m3 and above should have sufficient strength to withstand flooding of any one cargo hold, taking into account dynamic effects resulting from presence of water in the hold and taking into account recommendations adopted by IMO.

For existing ships (built before 1 July 1999) carrying bulk cargoes with a density of 1,780 kg/m3 and above, the transverse watertight bulkhead between the two foremost cargo holds and the double bottom of the foremost cargo hold should have sufficient strength to withstand flooding and the related dynamic effects in the foremost cargo hold.
Cargoes with a density of 1,780 kg/m3 and above include iron ore, pig iron, steel, bauxite and cement. Less dense cargoes, but with a density of more than 1,000 kg/m3, include grains such as wheat and rice, and timber.

Chapter XII allows surveyors to take into account restrictions on the cargo carried when considering the need for, and the extent of, strengthening of the transverse watertight bulkhead or double bottom. When restrictions on cargoes are imposed, the bulk carrier should be permanently marked with a solid triangle on its side shell.

The date of application of Chapter XII to existing bulk carriers depends on their age. Bulk carriers which are 20 years old and over on 1 July 1999 will have to comply by the date of the first intermediate or periodical survey after that date, whichever is sooner. Bulk carriers aged 15-20 years must comply by the first periodical survey after 1 July 1999, but not later than 1 July 2002. Bulk carriers less than 15 years old must comply by the date of the first periodical survey after the ship reaches 15 years of age, but not later than the date on which the ship reaches 17 years of age.
Bulk carrier safety background

Modern bulk carriers, often described as the workhorses of maritime trade, can be traced back to the 1950s when shipyards began building ships designed specifically for carrying non-packed commodities such as grains or ores.

IMO has been concerned with the safety of these ships since it first met in 1959. The 1960 SOLAS Convention - later replaced by SOLAS 1974 - included a chapter devoted to the carriage of grain, while a Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC) was adopted in 1965. Over the years, IMO has amended sections of the SOLAS Convention applicable to bulk carriers to keep it up to date, revised the BC Code and adopted the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk (International Grain Code), which was subsequently made mandatory under SOLAS.

But a dramatic increase in bulk carrier losses in the early 1990s raised alarm bells at IMO. Many ships involved suffered severe structural damage and sometimes literally broke in two, often with heavy loss of life. In 1990, 20 bulk carriers were lost with 94 fatalities, and in 1991 24 bulk carriers were lost with 154 lives.

As a result, the Assembly of IMO in 1991 adopted an interim resolution, proposed by the Secretary-General, Mr. William A. O'Neil, to improve bulk carrier safety, concentrating on paying attention to the structural integrity and seaworthiness of ships and ensuring loading and carrying of cargo would not cause undue stresses.

The casualty rate improved after this, but in 1994 was again causing concern. On the recommendation of Mr. O'Neil, IMO therefore established a correspondence group to consider the whole issue of bulk carrier safety and make proposals for changes in existing conventions concerning the structure and operation of bulk carriers.

Current work on bulk carrier safety
IMO is currently reviewing whether further measures will be needed to enhance bulk carrier safety, following the publication of the United Kingdom report into the sinking of the bulk carrier Derbyshire in 1980, with the loss of all on board.

The report was presented to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in May 1998 by the United Kingdom and contains further recommendations relating to the design and construction of bulk carriers. Issues under consideration by the MSC and its Sub-Committees include:

1. strength of hatch covers and coamings;
2. freeboard and bow height;
3. reserve buoyancy at fore end, including forecastles;
4. structural means to reduce loads on hatch covers and forward structure; and
5. fore deck and fore end access.

Glossary

Appropriate cargo information/documentation is the cargo stowage and securing manuals

Cargo
means any cargo with it’s own hazard with the exception of liquid/gas in bulk and dangerous goods

Cargo hold
means any space/hold designed to carry cargo

Cargo Unit
is any Container/Pallet/vehicle-trailer/flat/portable-tank or any other loading equipment which belongs to a ship but is not part of the ship

Cargoes which may liquefy
means cargoes which are subject to moisture migration and subsequent liquefaction if shipped with a moisture content in excess of the transportable moisture limit;

Container
means an article of transport as defined in the International Convention for Safe Containers, (CSC 1972), published by the Organization;

Dangerous goods
has the meaning given by regulation 1(3) of the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1990[3], and "Dangerous Goods Regulations" means those Regulations;

Flow moisture point
means the percentage moisture content (wet weight basis) at which a flow state develops under the methods of test in a representative sample of the material as prescribed by the Code of Safe Practice for Solid Bulk Cargoes (BC Code), published by the Organization;

Flow state
means the condition when a mass of granular material is saturated with liquid to an extent that under prevailing external forces such as vibration, impaction or ship's motion, it loses its internal shear strength and behaves as a liquid;

Forwarder
means a person who receives the appropriate cargo information in preparation for eventual delivery of the cargo to the ship or its agent, and may include a cargo packer or consolidator;

Grain includes
wheat, maize (corn), oats, rye, barley, rice, pulses, seeds and processed forms thereof whose behavior is similar to that of grain in its natural state;

International grain code
means the International Code for the Safe Carriage of Grain in Bulk adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organization by resolution MSC.23(59) on 23rd May 1991;

Moisture content
means the amount of moisture present in a particular sample expressed as a percentage by weight of the total wet weight of the sample;

Offshore supply vessel
means a ship which is used for the transportation of stores, materials, equipment and personnel between a base ashore and offshore installations or between offshore installations;

Operator in relation to a ship
means any owner, charterer, manager and agent of the ship;

Shipper
means any person who, whether as principal or agent for another, consigns goods for carriage by sea;

Transportable moisture limit
means 9/10ths of the flow moisture point;

Trimmed
means any levelling of the material within a cargo space, either partial or total, by means of loading spouts or chutes, portable machinery, equipment or manual labour.

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