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Hazards of carrying benzene and methanol at sea - safety precautions

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Hazards of carrying benzene and methanol at sea - safety precautions

Benzene is known as a strong carcinogen and known to cause leukaemia. When handling cargoes with more than Benzene concentration of 0.5%, the
Master is to ensure that all personnel involved are aware of the long term hazards.

Chemical transport at sea

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Inert gas systems
Warning signs are to be posted at the gangway and on the offshore side near the manifold stating the following text:

Gas freeing


Nitrogen handling

The following precautions must be given to the crew in connection with loading and gas freeing operations:

Cargo &
Ballast pumps

All doors leading from the outside to the accommodation and to the engine room should be kept closed during these operations. Only one door
on the windward side/nearest to the cargo control room is to be used as an access.
All doors inside the accommodation shall be kept closed during the operations.
The ventilation to the accommodation shall be stopped / recirculated and the fire flaps kept closed.
Vapour concentrations on deck shall be measured prior to any work being undertaken.
The crew working on deck shall wear appropriate protective equipment.
Only work related to cargo handling is allowed on deck.
Presence of personnel in the engine room shall be kept to a minimum during these operations.
Bring no working clothes into the accommodation.

Chemical handling
Safe practice
Handling equipments

Cargo tanks
Tank cleaning
Special cargoes
Spills emergencies

For details regarding the minimum safety standards for ships carrying Benzene, reference is to be made to MSC Circular 10945.

Fire protection

Methanol hazards

Enclosed space

Methanol is extremely toxic and if ingested, or inhaled, can cause a wide range of harmful effects from sickness, heart and liver damage to reproductive
harm, blindness or even death. It can also be absorbed through the skin.

Hot work

Methanol is very flammable. The pure liquid catches fire easily and aqueous solutions containing a significant amount of methanol can also catch fire. The
flame from burning methanol is virtually invisible and it is therefore not always easy to tell whether a methanol flame is still alight.


Methanol is often a component in bootleg liquor (illegally brewed and distilled alcoholic beverage) and there have been numerous cases in the past in
which the consumption of such a drink has been fatal or resulted in blindness.

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Personal Protective Equipment

All tankers designated for carriage of dangerous chemicals in bulk must have on board suitable protective equipment and clothing for the protection of
crew involved in cargo handling and tank cleaning operations. The types and quantities of protective equipment as well as additional safety equipment
should be in a strict compliance with requirements of IBC/BCH Code.
All ships carrying dangerous cargoes should have on board medical first-aid equipment, including oxygen resuscitation equipment and antidotes for cargo
carried in compliance with recommendations listed in IMO -MFAG (Medical First Aid Guide) and WHO IMGS (International Medical Guide for Ships).

We have summarized below some of the special chemical cargoes frequently carried onboard chemical tankers
Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions
Handling carcinogens requirements for certain chemical cargoes
Handling ACRYLONITRILE safety precautions
handling ISOCYANATES safety precautions
handling Sulfuric acid safety precautions
handling Phenol safety precautions

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Hazards of carrying benzene and methanol at sea - safety precautions

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Requirements of various grade chemical cargo heating

Handling benzene & methanol safety precautions
Personal protective equipments for carcinogens & cyanide-like cargoes onboard chemical tankers

Following detail pages explain all liquid chemical hazards & precautionary measures while carrying at sea.

Toxicology and associated hazards onboard chemical tankers

Hazards of vapour given off by a flammable liquid while carrying at sea
Reactivity of various noxious liquid chemicals
Most corrosive chemicals carried onboard chemical tankers
What is putrefaction process of liquid chemicals ?
Specific gravity,Vapour pressure and boiling point,Electrostatic charging & measuring Viscosity
General precautions onboard chemical tankers
Mooring precautions onboard chemical tankers
Berth precautions onboard chemical tankers
Cold weather countermeasures, avoiding electric storms
Restriction on using radio equipments and other mobile devices in cargo working areas
Handling precautions for carcinogens or cyanide-like substances
Means of access (gangways or accommodation ladders) safety precautions
Preparations for hot work and safety precautions
Precautions against static electricity

Following reference publications provide useful guidance and international regulations for carrying hazardous chemicals at sea.
SOLAS (latest consolidated edition)
MARPOL 73/78 (latest consolidated edition)
BCH / IBC Code
International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT)
Tanker Safety Guide (Chemicals)
Ship to Ship Transfer Guide (Petroleum)
Safety in Oil Tankers
Safety in Chemical Tankers
Supplement to IMDG Code (Including MFAG and Ems)
Clean Seas Guide for Oil Tankers
FOSFA (for Oils, Seeds and Fats)
Prevention of Oil Spillage through Cargo Pumproom Sea Valves
Chemical Data Guide for Bulk Shipment by Water (Condensed Chris)
MSDS for particular cargo carried
Chemical Tank Cleaning Guide is merely an informational site about various aspects of chemical tankers and safety tips that may be particular value to those
working in: Chemical Handling, Chemical Storage, Liquefied Chemical Suppliers, Chemical Shipping, Chemical Transportation, Chemical Terminals, Bulk
Chemical Services and Chemical Processing. If you are interested in finding out more about chemical tanker guideline please visit IMO official website. For
any comment please Contact us
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