Some 27 per cent of incidents on ships, relating to detected causation, were caused by cargo being mis-declared according to figures by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS).
“All dangerous goods must be carried in accordance with the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, which is a set of globally accepted rules that enables packaged dangerous goods to be carried safely by sea,” said David Nichol, UK P&I Club risk assessor. “As around ten per cent of all container cargoes constitute dangerous goods, virtually all container ship services fall within the scope of the code.
“It is imperative for the safety of the ship and crew that all necessary steps are taken to handle and stow dangerous goods in such a way that reduces the risk of an emergency incident and that, in the event of fire, the crew have the information they need to respond quickly with the appropriate fire-fighting measures. To enable this, a ship’s master must be provided with a correct, universally recognised description of the goods and the potential hazards they may present.”
Other factors that lead to incidents are:
- Quality and selection of packaging
- Provision and accuracy of documentation and labelling
- Professionalism of the container packing process
- Human factors – regional, cultural and company attitudes to good practice and compliance
- Unchecked irregularities in the product production process
- Mis-handling or dropping containers