“CARRYING SOLID BULK CARGOES INVOLVES SERIOUS RISKS, WHICH MUST BE MANAGED CAREFULLY TO SAFEGUARD THE CREW AND SHIP” (LLOYD’S REGISTER)
What are solid bulk cargoes and bulk cargo carriers?
Solid bulk cargoes are commodity cargoes that are transported in large quantities and are directly into the ship without any form of containment. Examples of these cargoes are mixed mass commodities like ore, cement, coal grain, fertilizers, dry edibles and wood chips that are carried loosely and are normally loaded and unloaded by either, shovelling, pumping, or scooping. These bulk cargo carriers are called dry and liquid bulk ships and find wide application in commerce.
Operators of these carriers are always aware of the safety of their ships, thus, their frequent monitoring of their cargo loading activities to ensure that the welfare of the ship and its crews is always on top of their priorities.
The main legislation governing safe carriage of solid bulk cargoes is the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, which became mandatory on January 1, 2011, under the SOLAS Convention.
Lloyd's Register has published a cargo safety guide to help you understand the IMSBC Code's key requirements and give you greater confidence in managing the risks of carrying solid bulk cargoes and achieving compliance with SOLAS.
It outlines the precautions you should take before accepting cargoes for shipment and the procedures you should follow for safe loading and carriage, and details the primary hazards associated with the different types of solid bulk cargo.
Risks in carrying solid bulk cargoes
Most of the risks in carrying solid bulk cargoes include liquefaction of cargoes that tend to reduce the ship’s stability that may even result to capsizing; occurrence of fire and hazards of explosion from chemical cargoes and; poor and inadequate procedures in loading that can damage the structural design of the ship.
The risks of using pesticides include the accumulation of gas in spaces adjacent to the cargo holds being treated or, if it is essential to ventilate the cargo holds, accumulation of fumigant in accommodation and working areas.
Fumigants such as Phosphine and Methyl Bromide are poisonous to humans and if they are not handled correctly, they can also represent a fire risk. They should only be used by specialists and not by the ship’s crew.
The ship should carry gas-detection equipment, adequate respiratory protective
equipment, a copy of the latest version of the Medical First Aid Guide for Use in
Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods (MFAG), and appropriate medicines and
How to reduce risks in carrying solid bulk cargoes
We have facts to support about a number of serious accidents resulting to loss of life and ship due to shifting of cargoes while travelling. Because shifting develops hastily, it will be difficult for the master of the ship to prevent the ship from heeling (sailing) once cargo...