Regulation 16 - Operations
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Regulation 16 - Operations

1 Purpose

 The purpose of this regulation is to provide information and instructions for proper ship and cargo handling operations in relation to fire safety. For this purpose, the following functional requirements shall be met:

  • .1 fire safety operational booklets shall be provided on board; and

  • .2 flammable vapour releases from cargo tank venting shall be controlled.

2 Fire safety operation booklets

  2.1 The required fire safety operational booklet shall contain the necessary information and instructions for the safe operation of the ship and cargo handling operations in relation to fire safety. The booklet shall include information concerning the crew's responsibilities for the general fire safety of the ship while loading and discharging cargo and while underway. Necessary fire safety precautions for handling general cargoes shall be explained. For ships carrying dangerous goods and flammable bulk cargoes, the fire safety operational booklet shall also provide reference to the pertinent fire-fighting and emergency cargo handling instructions contained in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code, the International Bulk Chemical Code, the International Gas Carrier Code and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, as appropriate.

  2.2 The fire safety operational booklet shall be provided in each crew mess room and recreation room or in each crew cabin.

  2.3 The fire safety operational booklet shall be written in the working language of the ship.

  2.4 The fire safety operational booklet may be combined with the training manuals required in regulation 15.2.3.

3 Additional requirements for tankers

  3.1 General

 The fire safety operational booklet referred to in paragraph 2 shall include provisions for preventing fire spread to the cargo area due to ignition of flammable vapours and include procedures of cargo tank gas-purging and/or gas-freeing, taking into account the provisions in paragraph 3.2.

  3.2 Procedures for cargo tank purging and/or gas-freeing

  3.2.1 When the ship is provided with an inert gas system, the cargo tanks shall first be purged in accordance with the provisions of regulation 4.5.6 until the concentration of hydrocarbon vapours in the cargo tanks has been reduced to less than 2% by volume. Thereafter, gas-freeing may take place at the cargo tank deck level.

  3.2.2 When the ship is not provided with an inert gas system, the operation shall be such that the flammable vapour is discharged initially through:

  • .1 the vent outlets as specified in regulation;

  • .2 outlets at least 2 m above the cargo tank deck level with a vertical efflux velocity of at least 30 m/s maintained during the gas-freeing operation; or

  • .3 outlets at least 2 m above the cargo tank deck level with a vertical efflux velocity of at least 20 m/s and which are protected by suitable devices to prevent the passage of flame.

  3.2.3 The above outlets shall be located not less than 10 m, measured horizontally, from the nearest air intakes and openings to enclosed spaces containing a source of ignition and from deck machinery, which may include anchor windlass and chain locker openings, and equipment which may constitute an ignition hazard.

  3.2.4 When the flammable vapour concentration at the outlet has been reduced to 30% of the lower flammable limit, gas-freeing may be continued at cargo tank deck level.

  3.3 Operation of inert gas system

  3.3.1 The inert gas system for tankers required in accordance with regulation shall be so operated as to render and maintain the atmosphere of the cargo tanks non-flammable, except when such tanks are required to be gas-free.

  3.3.2 Notwithstanding the above, for chemical tankers, the application of inert gas, may take place after the cargo tank has been loaded, but before commencement of unloading and shall continue to be applied until that cargo tank has been purged of all flammable vapours before gas-freeing. Only nitrogen is acceptable as inert gas under this provision.

  3.3.3 Notwithstanding regulation, the provisions of this paragraph shall only apply to tankers constructed on or after 1 January 2016. If the oxygen content of the inert gas exceeds 5% by volume, immediate action shall be taken to improve the gas quality. Unless the quality of the gas improves, all operations in those cargo tanks to which inert gas is being supplied shall be suspended so as to avoid air being drawn into the cargo tanks, the gas regulating valve, if fitted, shall be closed and the off-specification gas shall be vented to atmosphere.

  3.3.4 In the event that the inert gas system is unable to meet the requirement in paragraph and it has been assessed that it is impractical to effect a repair, then cargo discharge and cleaning of those cargo tanks requiring inerting shall only be resumed when suitable emergency procedures have been followed, taking into account guidelines developed by the Organizationfootnote.

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