A cargo hold inspection checklist
Detailed cargo hold cleaning procedures and maintenance systems checks are a crucial part of preparing a dry bulk carrier ship hold to transport cargo. Because different cargos present different challenges in regards to cleaning and safety--as well as taking into account MARPOL regulations--cleaning and maintenance procedures need careful attention and strict adherence to best practices to be effective. Observing proper procedures and safety protocols are the best defence against unwanted claims, failed inspections, and lost time.
Every ship will have a cargo hold inspection checklist that the crew needs to be diligent in following. They will be much more detailed, but in general will include such tasks as follows.
Cargo hold inspection checklist
- Holds swept to remove residue from previous cargo, loose rust, scale and paint flakes
- Check for damage to hold and structural integrity
- Wash cargo hold as required, considering properties of previous cargo and next cargo to be loaded
- Clear bilges wells, strum boxes, and sounding pipes
- Check MARPOL and local port regulations before discharging cargo hold water or bilge water
- Ensure ventilation and lighting systems are working properly
- Ensure electrical systems and alarms (fire, bilge, oxygen/CO2) are working properly
- Ensure bilge wells and holds are dry
- Inspect for any remaining signs of contamination including infestation
- Check hatch cover seals
- Apply paint, if applicable
- Apply a bilge coat to protect bilge lines if applicable.
- Apply a hold block to protect the ship’s steel, if applicable.
- Final check performed by appropriate officer
In addition to the above, it is also recommended to ensure that there is an adequate supply of cleaning products and safety equipment stored aboard.
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