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Uncertainties with assessment of the safety atmosphere in vessel cargo tanks and enclosed spaces

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This paper discusses the problem of atmosphere composition assessment related to entrance and inspection of a vessel cargo tank after washing, gas-freeing and ventilation. A correct assessment of the atmosphere before an entrance into the cargo tank or other enclosed spaces is a basic condition for the possibility of safe crew working. An assessment of the flammability hazard, presence of toxic or dangerous gases for human, and the oxygen concentration should be completed. In this regard, the ship-owner should prepare adequate procedures before an entrance, during work, and in emergency situations. The officers responsible should perform an assessment onboard the vessel their decisions are crucial for the safety of successive operations. A proper assessment of oxygen concentration in the air into the cargo tank or an enclosed space after the measurement is one of the primary problems which should be properly interpreted. This concerns such situations when the measured oxygen concentration into the tank reaches the value over 22% and below 20.6% of volume (mole) contribution (v/v). Air temperature in the 5–25°C range may create additional threats. This manuscript clarifies the controversial information included in manuals concerning the safety of entrance into enclosed spaces on vessels and the ship-owners procedures concerning the safety precautions for preparing, entrance, protection, and work inside the cargo tanks.
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Bibliogr. 20 poz., rys., tab.
  • Gdynia Maritime University
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Opracowanie rekordu ze środków MNiSW, umowa Nr 461252 w ramach programu "Społeczna odpowiedzialność nauki" - moduł: Popularyzacja nauki i promocja sportu (2021).
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