During the development of our bulk cargo safety training product Vistrato’s technical director, Capt. Kevin Cribbin, carried out extensive research into the main causes of accidents and loss of life over the last 20 years in the holds of ships carrying solid bulk cargoes.
The findings of this research, together with proposals aimed at correcting deficiencies in current procedures, have been submitted to IMO in co-operation of our partners DBTG / IBTA (International Dry Bulk Terminals Group) and have been accepted for consideration at the IMO’s CCC5 meeting in London in September.
At least 106 people have lost their lives and many more have been seriously injured in at least 71 accidents which occurred during the carriage or handling of solid bulk cargoes on board ships between 1999 and April 2018. Some 88 persons lost their lives in 55 accidents due to asphyxiation and/or carbon monoxide poisoning, mainly on or near the cargo hold access ladders. Another 18 people lost their lives in cargo related explosions on board ships.
Since April, a further four port workers are reported to have died in similar accidents so the number of identified fatalities now stands at 110.
As accidents during the handling of bulk cargoes often involve both ship and shore workers, this number comprises 40 port workers who lost their lives, as well as 70 seafarers. Many others have been injured, with many of those suffering brain damage due oxygen deprivation.
These recent accidents also highlight an increasing upward trend in the number of accidents involving solid bulk cargoes on ships both at sea and in port worldwide
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