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Precautions Before and During Cargo Handling and Other Cargo Tank Operations

Openings in Superstructures
All external openings should be closed when the tanker, or a ship at an adjacent berth, is conducing any of the following operations:

- Handling volatile petroleum or non volatile petroleum near to or above its flash point. - Loading non volatile petroleum into tanks containing hydrocarbon vapor. - Crude oil washing - Ballasting , purging, gas freeing or tank washing after discharge of volatile petroleum.

Doors, Ports and Windows

All external doors, ports and similar openings which lead directly from the tank deck to the accommodation or machinery spaces should be kept closed. A screen door cannot be considered a safe substitute for an external door. If doors have to be opened for access they should be closed immediately after use.

Doors that must be kept closed should be clearly marked, but in no case should doors be locked.

Ventilators should be kept trimmed to prevent the entry of petroleum gas, particularly on tankers which depend on natural ventilation.

Central Air Conditioning and Mechanical Ventilating Systems

Intakes of central air conditioning or mechanical ventilating systems should be adjusted to prevent the entry of petroleum gas, if possible by recirculation of air within the enclosed spaces.

Window Type Air Conditioning Units

Window type air conditioning units which are not certified as safe for use in the presence of flammable gas or which draw in air for outside the superstructure must be electrically disconnected and any external vents or intakes covered or closed.

Openings In Cargo Tanks

Cargo Tank Lids

- cargo tank lids or coamings should be clearly marked with

the number and location of the tank they serve. - tank openings of cargo tanks which are not gas free should be kept closed unless gas freeing alongside by agreement.

Sighting and Ullage Ports

sighting and ullage ports should be kept closed unless required to be open for those operational purposes.

if required to be open for venting purposes, the openings should be protected by a flame screen which may be removed for a short period during ullaging, sighting, sounding and sampling.

Cargo Tank Vent Outlets

cargo tank venting system should be set for the operation concerned and, if required, the outlets be protected by a device to prevent the passage of flame. High velocity vents should be set in the operational position to ensure the high exit velocity of vented gas.

Tank Washing Openings

operation tanks washing covers should only be removed from the tanks in which these operations are taking place and should be replaced as soon as these operations are completed.