Tuesday, 28 June 2011

ISM 10.3 - Critical and Standby Equipment

10.1 The Company should establish procedures to ensure that the ship is maintained in conformity with the provisions of the relevant rules and regulations and with any additional requirements which may be established by the Company.
10.2 In meeting these requirements the Company should ensure that:
.1 inspections are held at appropriate intervals;
.2 any non-conformity is reported, with its possible cause, if known;
.3 appropriate corrective action is taken; and
.4 records of these activities are maintained.
10.3 The Company should identify equipment and technical systems the sudden operational failure of which may result in hazardous situations. The safety management system should provide for specific measures aimed at promoting the reliability of such equipment or systems. These measures should include the regular testing of stand-by arrangements and equipment or technical systems that are not in continuous use.
10.4 The inspections mentioned in 10.2 as well as the measures referred to in 10.3 should be integrated into the ship's operational maintenance routine.

I've noted that a majority of deficiencies and / or non-conformities that are raised on vessels are dealing with non-performance of Standby Equipment. While majority of the companies have realized that the inspections by superintendents is not adequate, they've also realized that not all Stand-by Equipment are covered in the Planned Maintenance Systems of the vessels.

What are the Stand-by Equipment?
Dictionaries would define these as a secondary system identical to the main system, to be used if the main system breaks down. In principle, these would and should include all such Equipment or Machinery that would qualify to be called in action during Emergencies, thus LSA, FFA & Emergency Machinery. 

However, since ISM does not really give a clear definition of the term, it is left to wide interpretation by all individuals. In a worst case scenario, only the Emergency Equipment are treated as such.

Let's first differentiate between Critical Equipment and Stand-by equipment.
Critical Equipment and systems are those where loss of functional capability or failure to respond when activated manually or automatically, may create a hazardous situation and / or cause an accident.

Identifying Critical Equipment:
Critical equipment is identified by the Shore Management by making a risk assessment taking following aspects into consideration:

    Which equipment;
    Impact on crew, vessel or environment if not working;
    Back-up equipment / system;
    Likelihood of failure.

A proper methodology should be developed, including identification of hazards for critical equipment failure, existing control methods, and evaluate the residual risk. If the residual risk is low, the Equipment will not be called Critical. However, if the residual risk is high, and further control methods can still not lower the risk, the Equipment will have to be called Critical and thus processes will have to be identified to nullify the risk, including substitutes, minimum spares etc.
Dealing with each equipment, identified as Critical will need to have a procedure to act, in the form of a checklist, if any of these equipment fail, including any trainings, drills etc to mitigate the consequences.

Stand-by Equipment:
In very short, something that we do not use everyday on board the ships. Let’s look what all would be considered Stand-by Equipment. In my opinion, it automatically includes all Emergency Equipment, by virtue of use during Emergencies.
Therefore as a minimum the following would be included:
1)            Life Saving Appliances & Equipment;
2)            Fire Fighting Appliances & Equipment;
3)            Emergency Generator, Emergency Air Compressor and other Compressors like BA bottles charging compressors;
4)            All Vents, Flaps, Fire doors, Fire divisions;
5)            Oil Spill Equipment, including any portable or fixed pumps;
6)            Emergency Bilge Pumping arrangements;
and such other. You being on board would know better, which equipment you’ll require in Emergency. I feel, tools required to operate / repair / maintain these equipment too would come under this purview. This implies there should be an existing stock, clear description and identification of such tools, be it hydrant opening spanners or a wrench / hammer.
What else?
Let’s see, on a typical tanker (guys, I’m a tanker-man, so please work about other type of vessels accordingly), we walk from Forward to aft.
7)        Anchors, bitter end arrangements, including tools.
8)        Forepeak Store W/t door, including sealing and closing arrangements.
9)        All forward stores sealing and closing arrangements, including doors.
10)      Bow Thruster room, booby hatches, other booby hatches forward.
11)      Suez Light and lifting arrangement on Foc’s’le.
12)      Bitts, Chain Bow Stoppers, Emergency Towing Equipment forward and aft, Bollards, Fairleads, Rollers, Winches, Windlass, ropes / wires mooring as well as supporting ones like heaving lines and stoppers.
13)      Eductors
14)      Anchor Chain Wash line and valves
15)      Any hoses (cargo, hydraulic, pneumatic, FRAMO etc.) kept on board.
16)      Cleaning material (minor, but imagine, working on a chemical tanker, having used previously on caustic soda remains, the equipment is now being used trying to control an acidic cargo outflow). But then, it should have been disposed of after cleaning in the first place. That is why you are supposed to inspect, because this was not done.
17)      Any and all valves on all pipelines, store ventilators, vents, flaps, closing appliances, mechanical ventilation devices etc.
18)      All manhole covers for cargo / ballast tanks and void spaces, vents etc.
19)      The void spaces and pipelines passing through them, including any valves located in them.
20)      Ladders, MOT or ship’s gangways.
21)      P/V Valves, Mast-Risers, P/V Breakers, IG Pipelines, cargo equipment, emergency hydraulic pumps, hydraulic and manual valve actuators, controls, boxes, lines etc.
22)      Deck pipelines, shafts etc. continuity cables etc.
23)      Dresser couplings or expansion joints.
24)      All Spectacle Flanges, blank flanges, spare reducers for cargo / bunkering etc., nuts and bolts, gaskets etc.
25)      Nitrogen bottles, room, connections and lines, if applicable.
26)      VECS
27)      Drip trays drains, cocks, valves and scuppers.
28)      Deck scuppers.
29)      All Cranes, wires, associated winches, drums etc.
30)      All bunker and cargo davits, fixed and portable
31)      Bunker tank vents, valves and lines
32)      Cargo pipelines, including tank cleaning / COW lines, valves etc.
33)      Pressure / Compound gauges, thermometers, IG gauges and connections
34)      All cargo tank fixed and portable gauging devices, including vapour locks, grounding devices etc.
35)      Pilot ladders and Pilot boarding arrangements
36)      Drain lines, cocks etc.
37)      IG line, deck seals, scrubber, IGG and valves, including all locking arrangements.
38)      Deck security equipment, including all padlocks, seals etc.
39)      All W/T doors on all decks.
40)      Deck lighting, emergency as well as normal
41)      Portable cargo lights, pneumatic or otherwise.
42)      All Bridge and Radio Equipment, navigational or communication, including mast lights, flag halyards, signal lamps – fixed and portable, Comm Equipment Antenna etc.
43)      ODMCS
44)      Overboard valves, Overboard discharge Annex I & Annex II arrangements
45)      In Engine Room, all valves, stand-by pumps and all lines,
46)      Oily Water Separator and 15 ppm equipment
47)      Emergency Sludge transfer arrangements.
48)      Sewage discharge connections
49)      Bunker manifold valves
50)      All Emergency Stops on the vessel
51)      220V & 440V alarm panels
52)      All other alarm panels
53)      Sample lockers, chemical lockers etc.
54)      CO2 room lines, cocks, and alarms etc.
55)      Pumproom alarms, lines, valves etc.
56)      Pumproom Exxon connection for Sea chest
57)      All blanks and spool pieces on deck or in pumproom.
58)      All loose lifting gear including chain blocks, slings, shackles etc.
59)      All fixed / portable gas measuring devices and instruments
60)      All measuring / calibration equipment

The list is not exhaustive, and can be continued. In short, I’ll say that everything, that seems to be the least important part / equipment of the ship and the risk of getting neglected is high, and which also will continue to remain on board, despite not being used, as a part of the ship, all that you may think of, as “may be required, so let’s keep it properly’ will be included. Some may not agree with me in my this description of Standy-by equipment, but trust me, there’s always more then what meets the eye to ISM.

Some of you may feel that, it is foolish to include just about everything as stand-by equipment. To you, I’ll ask one question. You may be the best in management, take care of each part of the vessel, the safeties etc. in terms of maintenance or inspections, so then the auditor or any inspector for that matter will have nothing to observe. How many of you have come across an inspector who always picks up easily, what you thought is not worthy of attention?

Let’s just say there is no end to it, and besides as a prudent ship-manager or sailor, why do you think the owners employed you in the first place? To take care of everything on board the vessel, I guess. Do you think, parts being missed in “taking care” is appreciated?
Think and apply. Think again and apply, and if you still feel that now I’m going overboard, well, my friend, my advice to you is simple. I believe learning can be two ways, one by other’s experience, one by own experience. Whatever you may prefer! You'll see the reason someday@!
Good luck in maintaining your vessel!


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