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Tanker operation : Measures For Pump room entry

The operation of oil tankers involved numerous hazards. Prior entering in a pump room following basic preparation should be taken into account.

Entry Permit into Enclosed Space
Whenever entering the pump room, “Procedures for Entry into Enclosed Spaces” must be complied with and the Master’s permission must be obtained, “Enclosed Space Entry Permit”

The ventilation fans shall be kept running in exhaust mode for the entire duration of validity of the permit. However, the designated responsible person (duty officer or chief officer) shall monitor such pump room entries.

Entry Control
All entries into the pump room shall be recorded, with the below ‘Notice’ confirmations. They shall include the names / ranks of persons and times of entry and exit. Such record shall be with the duty officer manning the Cargo Control Room (during operations) or on the Navigational Bridge (during Navigation)

Atmosphere Control
Prior to pump room entry the space must be tested for Oxygen (at least 21%), Explosive gases (HC LEL= less than 1% LEL) and Toxic vapors (Nil). The ventilation fans shall not be stopped until all personnel have left the pump room.

Effective communication
Regular communication checks should be made at pre-agreed intervals and failure to respond should be a cause to raise the alarm.

Gas Monitoring
At times where cargo movement within the pipelines is expected or regular personnel entry for routine inspections are expected, then such portable gas measuring instruments shall be kept in a state of readiness at the entrance of pump room, with detecting hose leading to the bottom floor. However, only if a fixed gas detection system is fitted, is correctly calibrated and tested regularly and can provide % LEL readings to a level of accuracy equivalent to portable gas instruments at representative locations, then such fixed equipment can be used to provide and continuously monitor the safe entry within the pump room.

Oil tanker QUDS underway


Ventilation fans must be started prior to switching on the pump room lighting.

Only approved lighting shall be used in the pump room and shall be maintained in proper condition.

Steel drums containing equipment and clean rags must be stowed over suitable wooden dunnage to prevent formation of sparks. All storage drums must be provided with suitable lids.

Keep clean / clear in Pump Room
The pump room shall be visually inspected for oil and trash (rags) regularly. Pump room bilges should be kept and maintained clean and dry. Any oil and trash discovered in the pump room bilges must be removed and disposed correctly, as soon as practicable and possible. Storage of oil / substances in pump room likely to spontaneously ignite or emanate vapors should be avoided.

Maintenance Work in Pump Room
During maintenance work in the pump room including pumps, valves, strainers, etc., strict attention must be paid to the possible presence or development of flammable or toxic vapors.

Rescue equipment shall be maintained and kept in a state of readiness.

Notice shall be posted outside Pump Room as follows:

a. “No entry without prior permission”
b. Prior entry, ensure:
i. Ventilation exhaust is running
ii. Proper Lighting / illumination
iii. Personal Gas Meter
iv. Communication link with duty officer
v. Atmosphere checks (Oxygen-21%, HC gas-Nil, Toxic gases-Nil)


A multi-gas personnel detector shall be carried while being in Pump Room. Any warning from such unit indicates to evacuate immediately.



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