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    Marine Safety Forum issues Safety Flash about design of safe havens

    Organisations and Associations // November 16, 2005

    The Marine Safety Forum has issued a Safety Flash - Safety Flash 22/05  - about design issues with safe havens.

    "This safety flash should be read, in particular, by technical design staff within ship operating companies and by sea staff. We would be interested to have feedback on your views with regards to the issues discussed below," said the Marine Safety Forum.

    "For those working on deck, safe havens are a significant improvement from early PSV and AHTS designs and are now seen as an essential safety feature. However, we have been asked to bring to your attention three design issues causing concern," said the Forum.

    All are somewhat interlinked.

    1. Door frame design resulting in cargo snagging in the safe haven. This is usually due to fact that the internals of the door frame of the safe haven are flat, particularly the upper horizontal beam, and often there is a lip around the edge of the frame.

    This can be resolved retrospectively by fitting half-pipe to the verticals and upper horizontal of the frame. Alternatively angled flat-plated steel can be used. At the sign stage of new builds, this could easily be designed appropriately to minimise cargo snagging. Supervision of the finish at the yard would also help. Snagging of cargo in the safe haven can result in excessive stress being put on the lifting equipment, cargo containers tipping and damage to cargo, vessel etc.

    2. The width of the doorways into safe havens. When safe havens were initially designed, the doorways were usually limited in number and relatively narrow at 550-
    600mm wide. However, in recent years the number of safe haven doorways along the length of the deck has increased, as has the width of the openings. This obviously helps crew locate a place of safety quickly but does present more potential cargo snagging hazards. The more doorways there are, the higher the risk of snagging. However, this risk can be minimised through judicious design. The problem with increased width is that larger pieces of cargo can become trapped and/or enter the safe haven, which in effect defeats the purpose of having the safe haven in the first place. We recommend that design personnel and sea staff take into consideration the potential hazards associated with the provision of multiple doorways and the dimensions when making decisions on deck layout. 

    3. Items subject to damage located within the safe havens. A number of recent incidents and near misses have highlighted actual/potential damage that can occur to
    equipment in safe havens such as: cabling, light fittings, pipework (for nitrogen system for methanol systems!). Designers should consider the risks of damage to such equipment in safe havens and supervision at yards should bear this in mind when carrying out final location of the equipment.

    Please direct any comments or queries to:


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