FIRE AND SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
When a tank vessel has
docked, responsible persons must make sure there are no fires, open flames, or
open lights on deck or anywhere near the part of the deck at which the cargo
hose is to be connected. Although it is sometimes necessary to keep fires in
the boiler room when cargo is being loaded or unloaded, the potential hazard
should be weighed. Extreme care should be taken when tugs or other vessels that
may have open flames come alongside. Smokestacks of coal burning tugboats,
dredges, or pile-driving equipment should have spark arresters. These precautions
are very important during the transfer operation when large amounts of
explosive vapors may form. Smoking or flame-spark-producing devices should not
be allowed on the vessel or at the terminal, except in special places. Fire
fighters must not be allowed to clean out stacks while vessels are docked. No
garbage or waste of any kind should be thrown overboard while the vessel is
docked. Additional measures are described below.
Caution signs must be
posted. They include NO SMOKING and NO LOITERING signs and traffic direction
markers. A warning sign stating DANGER: THIS VESSEL HANDLING PETROLEUM must be
posted. A sign stating NO FIRES, NO SMOKING, NO VISITORS should be posted in
clear view on the gangway while product is being loaded or unloaded. The sign
must be lettered in red on a white background. When a petroleum cargo is
transferred at a mooring or dock, the vessel must display a red flag by day and
an all-round red light by night.
A grounding cable must
be connected between the dock grounding system and the hull of the vessel
before the cargo hose is connected. This cable must not be removed until after
the cargo hose is removed.
All spills must be cleaned up as soon as possible.
Sources of vapor ignition must be eliminated.
No vessel should be
allowed to dock or moor within 50 feet of a vessel that is unloading bulk
cargo, unless the depot officer or supervisor and the master of the vessel
transferring cargo agree.
At the end of each
mooring line, at the bollard or belay pile, there should be a manila or
synthetic fiber line that can be cut in an emergency. It is used if there is no
other emergency release.
Valves on Suction Lines
A shutdown of the booster
pumps, either through error or power failure, will stop the flow and cause the
full delivery head from the vessel's pumps to back up at the dock. There may
also be a surge of pressure that could burst the hose. Precautions should be
taken against these hazards. A battery of relief valves may be connected to the
pump station suction line. The valves will relieve pressure until vessel
personnel can be told to shut down the vessel's pumps.
To ensure safe
operating procedures, the depot supervisor must inspect conditions both on
shore and on the vessel before loading or unloading operations are started.
There will usually be at least one deck officer and one engineer officer on
duty aboard a tanker during such operations. This rule may be changed to suit
transfer operations to and from small vessels.
Watch and Hose Watch
During the entire
loading or unloading operation, the vessel personnel usually provide a deck
watch and the shore organization provides a hose watch. The hose watch observes
ship/dock operations, looks for straining or chafing of the cargo hose, stands
by at all times to close the dock valves, and coordinates with the deck watch
to start and stop the operations.