A member has highlighted two recent occasions in which containers and vehicles were inappropriately loaded and transported with their contents unsecured, which resulted in unnecessary manual handling of cargo. Unsafe packing of containers and loading of vehicles is something that still occurs. The potential exists for injury, environmental impact or equipment damage caused by unsecured cargo and/or not loading vehicles correctly.
The following simple suggestions may be of use to members:
- Place items being shipped in suitable containers, giving consideration to the possible cargo handling capabilities of those receiving the load (i.e. forklift availability, access, container type);
- Ensure loads are distributed in a balanced and even way;
- Place heavier items at the bottom with lighter items on top – do not place heavy cargo on top of fragile cargo;
- Use packing to prevent damage between items of cargo;
- Lash down (and wedge if necessary) cargo, to prevent movement in transit;
- Do not pack sharp items next to soft skinned drums;
- Certain chemicals and materials, when combined (possibly through transit damage), can become toxic, highly flammable or explosive – it is imperative that such materials are kept apart;
- Ensure the doors and locking mechanisms are secure with locking device attached (including secondary securing device) and, where applicable, use door safety nets;
- Ensure no loose items have been left on the roof of the CCU (Cargo Carrying Unit) or container;
- Loading of cargo should be properly planned and implemented, to facilitate the ease of unloading on arrival at the destination;
Members may wish to refer to:
- International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code – imo.org/blast/mainframe.asp?topic_id=158
- Oil & Gas UK Guidelines for the Safe Packing & Handling of Cargo to and from Offshore Locations – info.ogp.org.uk/liftingandhoisting/RPR/OilAndGasUKPacking.pdf
IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.
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