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Bulk Carrier Safety


Bulk Carrier Safety

Bulk carrier safety is high on the agenda of IMO's Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which meets for its 76th session from 2 to 13 December. The MSC meeting is taking place at IMO Headquarters in London. The Committee is expected to establish a working group to review submissions by Governments and international organizations on the various formal safety assessment (FSA) studies on bulk carrier safety, which are now completed. The Committee will also consider new SOLAS regulations for adoption.

The Committee is expected to review the preliminary list of 25 recommendations, which mainly deal with the following:

  • Hull envelope - double hull and side-skin construction, improved coatings, steel repair standards, corrosion margins of hold frames, forecastles, bulwark/breakwater structures, ballast system capacity, protection of foredeck fittings, strength and corrosion control of hold frames, coating of internal side skins.
  • Closing appliances - hatch cover re-design and/or reinforcement, fore deck fittings, hatch cover access/closed indicators.Evacuation - water ingress alarms, provision of immersion suits, lifeboats.
  • Operational aspects - terminal interface improvement, risk based Enhanced Survey Programme, weather routeing, improved loading/stability information, and other.
  • SOLAS amendments - fitting of high level alarms and level monitoring systems on all bulk carriers, in order to detect abnormal water ingress; availability of pumping systems for draining and pumping dry space bilges and ballast tanks any part of which is located forward of the collision bulkhead; access to spaces in cargo areas of oil tankers and bulk carriersLoad Lines revision - hatch cover design environmental criteria and a proposed new bow height formula.
  • Machinery control - design of automation systems capable to issue a warning of impending or imminent slowdown or shutdown of the propulsion system in time to assess navigational circumstances in an emergency.


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