Statutory Alert: New SOLAS requirements for carriage of portable atmosphere testing equipment for enclosed space entry Applicability: All SOLAS-certified vessels
Further to Class News 33/2014 and 10/2015, SOLAS regulation XI-1/7* will enter into force on 1 July, 2016, requiring the carriage of an appropriate atmosphere testing instrument or instruments for enclosed space entry.
These portable testing instruments will not be used as part of personal protective safety equipment, but as part of the ship’s equipment. They will be used to test enclosed spaces from the outside to make sure that they are safe to enter and will cover, as a minimum, the following gases: oxygen, flammable gasses or vapours, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulphide. Suitable means must be provided to calibrate them.
The IMO has issued guidelines to help owners and operators select appropriate testing instruments, contained in circular MSC./Circ.1477
Owners should ensure they have instruments in place by the entry into force date, after which they will be surveyable items under the vessel’s Cargo Ship Safety Construction or Passenger Ship Safety survey.
Reminder of SOLAS regulation III/19 drill requirements
Note that SOLAS regulation III/19 requires crew members to participate in an enclosed space entry and rescue drill on board the ship at least once every two months.