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Ro-Ro Safety Guidelines

Once again, Maritime Progress has researched and produced a poster which has much bearing on a sector of the industry with which many of their customers will be familiar. Our poster is based on the guidelines for safe operations on vehicle decks as contained within the MCA Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen. Chapt. 32 and the IMO Code for Cargo Stowage (CSS Code). In completing this research and producing this poster, we are indebted to the shipping company which allowed us supervised access to the working areas where loading and discharge was taking place and to take into account the knowledge of the ship’s officers concerned.

Ro Ro Traffic is one of the chief forms of marine transport and, over the years, has had its share of accidents. This method of carrying vehicles and other cargoes is time efficient but sometimes includes the added risk factor of combining cargo handling with the presence of passengers in a noisy and somewhat confusing environment.  In addition to moving traffic, the deployment of mezzanine decks and ramps can add to the risk laden atmosphere and it is vital that shipboard personnel are properly trained and adequately supervised to carry out their duties with safety constantly in mind. A rapid turnaround time is no excuse for the neglect of vital safe working practices.

Even outside the loading and discharge operations, bunkering, loading stores, the disposal of waste and routine repairs require much care and consideration. Accidents have happened where personnel have been injured or worse when tractor units and low loaders have commenced loading without warning or adequate supervision with their engine noises masked by the sound of the ventilation fans. A risk assessment of such operations and the introduction of appropriate safeguards is important.

We hope that this poster will act as a reminder about the issues which constitute risk and others which contribute to vehicle deck safety.

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