Deaths in confined spaces are still happening

Modern ships are capable of carrying larger and larger loads while the number of crew aboard remains approximately the same. This means that Seafarers are more exposed to the dangers of confined space entries than ever before.

What is a Confined Space?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) defines enclosed spaces as having limited openings for entry and exit, inadequate ventilation or a design not intended for continuous worker occupancy.

This includes:

  • cargo spaces
  • double bottoms
  • fuel tanks, ballast tanks
  • cargo pump-rooms, compressor rooms
  • chain lockers
  • and any other area that may be oxygen deficient.

These spaces are often used for installing new machinery or for storage and, on a modern vessel that has a complex matrix of pipelines running through each of its parts, there will be even more of them.

Toxic gases generated by storage or leakage accumulate in confined spaces because of the lack of ventilation. Therefore, if a crew member enters to carry out repairs or cleaning without taking adequate precautions, the results are usually fatal.

Recent Incidents

In the last few years there have been numerous deaths caused by confined spaces in the UK Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia.

In the last four months alone, there have been six deaths.

Two incidents on RMI flagged ships occurred within 24 hours of each other and resulted in the deaths of three crew members and two others losing consciousness.
Then, as recently as November, three more seafarers died of asphyxiation on board the timber carrier Apollo Kita as they were working in the vessel’s hold.

These are just the latest in a long line of similar incidents.

Regulations

Deaths in confined keep happening despite the IMOs attempts to prevent them with new regulations. The latest – Regulation XI-1/7 – requires all SOLAS applicable vessels to carry portable gas detectors for monitoring enclosed spaces:

“Every ship to which Chapter 1 applies shall carry an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument or instruments. As a minimum, these shall be capable to measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide and carbon monoxide. Instruments carried under other requirements may satisfy this regulation. Suitable means shall be provided for the calibration of all such instruments.”

Effective gas detectors and calibration instruments are essential on all cargo vessels. This equipment should also be as versatile and easy to use as possible so that all crew members are protected.

Equipment

Martek has a range of fixed and portable gas detection equipment that’s designed to be as simple and safe to use as possible.

The Marine Triple-C doesn’t require calibration or charging, due to cutting edge sensor technology, so crew members can carry it at all times to make sure that that the environment they’re working in is safe.

The Marine Triple-C is lightweight and convenient to carry. It’s simple and easy to use, with one-button operation and large screen that’s readable in low light or changeable conditions.

The Marine Triple-C is rated IP68 so it’s waterproof up to 1.5m for 30 minutes, durable and uses infrared technology that’s immune to sensor poisoning, which means no calibration is necessary.

Because it doesn’t need oxygen to operate, it will reliably test for hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon monoxide (CO), oxygen (O2) and combustible gases (LEL) in even the most challenging of confined spaces.

Learn how the Marine Triple-C or any other item in our range of gas detection equipment, can prevent loss of lives on your vessel.

Meet our new Regional Sales Manager!

We’re always expanding and developing our wonderful team, so we’re delighted to announce our latest internal promotion: Nicole Rayner.

Nicole joined us at Martek just six months ago having worked in telesales for the previous five years.  She quickly demonstrated her abilities as a sales person so when the position of Regional Sales Manager came up, she seemed like a very natural fit. Nicole will now look after her own international sales territory, traveling to meet clients as well as managing their needs from our head office.

Nicole says: This promotion gives me the opportunity not only to visit extraordinary places but to develop both professionally and personally. I cannot wait to see where my new role will take me!’

We can’t wait either! We know Nicole will be a great Regional Sales Manager and everyone at Martek wishes her all the best.

Reduce your plastic waste with Drinksafe

8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. If our current consumption continues at the same rate, there will be more plastic than fish by 2050. Single use plastic is the biggest problem with half of all plastic products designed to be used only once. Across the world, over a million plastic drinking bottles are bought every minute and these make up about 20% of all sea plastic.

But the world is waking up to the problem. There is increasing public awareness and governments are taking steps to reduce the use of disposable plastic. Just this week, the European Parliament announced plans to ban many throwaway plastic items by 2021 and stated that 90% of all plastic drinks bottles must be recycled by the year 2025. This will have a huge impact on shipping companies who are still relying on plastic water bottles for their clean water supply.

DrinkSafe is therefore even more important – not just for safeguarding crews, but for helping to save the environment.

It’s the easiest water testing kit on the market and is designed around MLC 2006 and WHO guidelines to provide you with everything you need to perform regular, comprehensive testing of your vessel’s water supplies. With DrinkSafe there’s no need to use single-use plastic bottles and some of the biggest shipping companies in the world are using it to look after the safety of their passengers and crews.

One of our customers, Grindrod Ship Management, have completely eliminated the use of bottled water on board ship by switching to Drinksafe to improve their water testing. As well as a massive cost saving, the change has also had a big impact on their plastic waste. Capt Rajaraman Krishnamoorthy from Grindrod said: ‘our company is saving 32,000 bottles per month due to more robust water testing policies’.

This represents a step in the right direction when it comes to plastic pollution and we hope that even more companies follow Grindrod’s great example.

 

Liquefaction – Are your hatches putting you at risk?

Your bulk cargo carrier could be at risk of liquefaction.

What is liquefaction?

Granular materials loaded onto a ship hold can turn into a liquid state – which can be disastrous for your ship and crew.

Solid bulk cargo often contains water between solid particles. Present from mining, this moisture level can rise through transport and storing.

Friction between these particles makes these particles act like a solid, despite the liquid presence.

Ship vibrations and movements cause the space between the particles to reduce, increasing pore water pressure. If the pore water pressure increases enough, the “dry” cargo begins to act like a fluid due to the loss of friction between the particles.

The risk to life

The liquefied bulk can shift inside the hold and can solidify again in a shifted position.

This shift can cause the ship to list. If the cargo liquefies again, the angle of the list can increase. At this point, water can enter the hull via hatch covers, or the ship may be unable to recover from a roll.

Water from the liquefied cargo can also move towards the surface, causing further instability.

This happened to the Bulk Jupiter, which sank 300km off the coast of Vietnam.

Only one crew member survived.

The IMO issued warnings over possible liquefication of a solid bulk aluminium ore, Bauxite.

The answer

Beginning at the source, the method for storing, transporting and method of loading can affect the state of the solid bulk cargo.

Hard loading, to load cargo faster, increases the risk of raising pore water pressure. During transit, crews can be put off from draining cargo due to pressures to deliver the same tonnage as was loaded.

Technology may hold the answer, such as sensors to measure cargo water pressure or laser observers.

The problem lies in finding a technology cheap enough, yet also performs to a high enough standard to inform the crew of the dangers in real time.

Once water pressure increase had been detected the crew can look to drain cargo water, change course to reduce motion, or even evacuate the ship.

Summary

Liquefaction is not a new phenomenon – we’ve been aware of it for over a century.

Technology, storage and loading procedures alone aren’t currently in a place where they can reduce the risk of liquefaction. There would be a need for several cross-industry changes to take place.

Hatches can be a cause of sinking should a ship list due to water ingress, never mind the damage to cargo – which makes up over 60% of P&I loss claims.

Traditional methods of testing the tightness of hatches can be unreliable and time-consuming. Only ultrasonic testing ensure hatches are secure at all times.

You can download our whitepaper on hatch cover testing here.

Spotlight on Shelley – 10 years at Martek Marine

Shelley might look like a fresh-faced new joiner, but she’s a Martek veteran.

After 10 years in the finance department (equivalent to 50 years in other roles, we’re told), We decided to catch up with Shelley about her time here at Martek and why she’s still here!

10 years – How did it all start at Martek?

I started with Martek back in November 2006. I joined as Credit Controller and Purchase Ledger Clerk and was one half of the 2-person finance team. Just a Finance Manager and I back then!

Shortly after, we got a 3rd team member, a Purchase Ledger Clerk, and my focus was solely on Credit Control.

Wanting to progress, I began to study for my AAT accounting qualifications. With study support from Martek, I completed the qual and moved into a new role as Assistant Management Accountant. We also gained another team member due to growth, 4 now in total.

And then you left… (spoiler: for a bit)

In Jan 2011 I decided to look for a change and new challenge.

But, there was something missing. I found the culture was too different elsewhere. Very corporate, stuck in their ways and a lack of personality that I loved at Martek.

I realised that Martek was where I felt more comfortable day to day. The social aspect is great and I developed loads of friends, not just work colleagues.

In December 2012, an opportunity opened at Martek and I jumped at the chance. I re-joined the team as a Management Accountant. I’ve been here since!

Looking back to 2006, what have been the biggest changes at Martek?

The introduction of freedom and responsibility (F&R) was amazing. In a nutshell: Take ownership of your responsibilities, do your work well, and enjoy the freedom that comes as a reward.

What time of ‘freedom’ has this meant for you?

I’m a mum of two, and one of my children has special needs. F&R meant I was able to be flexible with my working hours. I’m able to work from home for a few hours in a morning, which means I can manage the jobs at home too!

Martek stand by F&R, it isn’t just a tag. As I knew I could manage my workload around the office hours I chose, and had a proven track record, I felt comfortable using F&R. I’ve heard of companies where it’s advertised but not actioned and that’s not the case here.

Beside your AAT, have you had any other support in your 10 years.

Plenty! Martek take CPD seriously and really push us to be the best we can be. There’s a free audible account brimming with audio/actual books to keep learning.

Since returning in 2012, Martek supported me as I studied for and passed my CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants), and with this I’ve progressed to a department leader and now sit on the leadership team.

Without the support of Martek I wouldn’t be where I am today!

Any messages for potential new joiners, or those who have just started with the company?

Martek is a fantastic company to work for. The culture is fun, people focussed and there are plenty of rewards.

That said, expect to be challenged. If you’re prepared to be challenged, take ownership and put in the work where it’s needed the rewards are fantastic.

I wouldn’t work anywhere else!

To learn more about our staff at Martek click here 

IMDG Code: Free Supplement for first 100 customers

International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code – New Edition

Essential Information

A carriage requirement for all vessels carrying Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants at Sea, this latest version will supersede the 2014 edition, which will become invalid.

The IMDG Code, 2018 Edition (inc. Amendment 39-18) comes into force on 1 January 2020 for two years and may be applied voluntarily as from 1 January 2019. The IMDG Code Supplement, 2018 Edition, once published, will render the previous 2014 edition.

The IMDG Code, 2016 Edition Amendment 38-16 came into force on 1 January 2018 for two years. The IMDG Code Supplement, 2014 Edition remains valid until further notice.

Purpose

The IMDG code covers MARPOL and SOLAS Convention requirements and is the guide for handling dangerous goods and marine pollutants at sea.

The IMDG code includes:

  • Recommendations for individual substances materials and articles
  • Recommendations for good operational practice
  • Advice on terminology, packing, labelling, stowage, segregation and handling
  • Emergency response action.

Free Supplement for first 100 customers

It’s time to go digital.

Too often we store guides, code, updates and supplements in paper form. There’s still the sense of preferring to hold the physical product.

The problems lay when you need to find something specific within. Time is of the essence and there’s only so much the contents page can help with.
Dogeared and tattered, these can become difficult to store and to read.

In an industry that embraces technology as a means of improved performance and efficiency, it’s time digital books became the norm.

Time-saving

Content pages and index are useful for narrowing down your search in paper versions but can still be time-consuming.

With an e-book you have the ability to instantly search for keywords or phrases, saving valuable time previously spent flicking through pages.

No more legs

With a digital library, your publications are always in the same place. Regardless of who needs to use what or when a digital copy will be on hand for instant access

No losses

In a chaotic moment, items can get lost. There’s also a high risk of damage, especially with printed products.

Digital charts and publications remain safe and in place. Files are backed up to ensure that even with a system failure or loss, there’s another device ready to step up to the plate.

Reduce emissions

The maritime industry is set to reduce emissions by 2050. Whilst an e-book may not look to solve this directly, it’s a contributing factor. Reducing the need for paper form publications, and the methods of carriage and delivery all work towards the bigger cause.

Your free supplement

To help with your move towards digital publications, and for those who already use them, we’re offering a free IMDG supplement to the first 100 customers who purchase the latest edition of the IMDG guide in digital format.

The supplement is worth £65 and is packed with:

  • The Revised EmS Guide
  • The Medical First Aid Guide
  • Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships
  • The INF Code
  • Other appropriate resolutions and circulars pertaining to the transport of dangerous goods

Claim your IMDG guide with free supplement now and lead the way as an early adopter in 2019.

Want to save money on charts, without compromising safety?
Sign up for our 30 min webinar and find out why you’re wasting money on digital charts.

V.Ships & Martek Marine to fight SCA at sea

Protecting against one of the world’s biggest killers

V.Ships Partnership to raise standards of crew welfare through onboard defibrillators.

As a trusted provider of technology for ship safety, performance and crew welfare, Martek Marine has teamed up with V.Ships, the world’s leading third-party ship management company to combat the number of fatalities from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) at sea.

To combat SCA, V.Ships is rolling out Martek Marine’s Lifeforce® automated external defibrillator (AED) across each of its managed vessels, enhancing the welfare of its seafarer pool of over 44,000.

The issue of SCA is growing, not just in the maritime industry, with more than six million deaths worldwide directly attributed to SCA, and survival rates less than one per cent.

V Ships said:

“We undertook a thorough investigation of the global AED market before deciding on a model and partner to be equipped throughout the fleet. It was concluded that the LIFEFORCE AED from Martek Marine met all our criteria, with proven shipboard pedigree and type approval from DNV GL. As the leading ship management company in the industry, crew welfare is our highest priority, and as such we have mandated the requirement for AEDs on every ship to protect against sudden cardiac arrest.

Paul Luen, CEO of Martek Marine, said: “We feel this is the beginning of a truly great partnership, setting the new standard for crew welfare globally.”

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

SCA can strike anyone at any time. Lifestyle factors can increase the likelihood of suffering from SCA but unfortunately can’t guarantee that.

We’ve previously covered how Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the worlds most famous explorer, collapsed at Bristol airport.
Had it not been for an AED on hand within minutes, it’s highly likely that Sir Ranulph would not have survived.

Age isn’t the only factor either.

Earlier this year, there was a frightening study released on young footballers who suffered from SCA. These are some of the most active individuals on the planet, and the number who collapsed, and died, due to SCA is a stark reality.

Martek Marine is excited to continue to develop our relationship with V.Ships and hope that it will encourage other ship management companies to take sudden cardiac arrest seriously, and protect their crew with fleetwide AEDs.

LIFEFORCE® AED

LIFEFORCE® is an automated external defibrillator (AED) – specifically designed for the marine environment and was the world’s first defibrillator to be Type Approved.

It is designed to be the simplest to use AED on the market and independent tests have proven that members of the public without any training can deliver a life-saving shock quicker than any other unit in the market.

With a built-in handle and weighing just 1.9kg, the LIFEFORCE® AED is portable, lightweight and can easily be stored and carried to a victim’s side. It is a durable piece of equipment, tested for use in even the most hostile environments

The unit is weatherproof, with ruggedized handles and sides for ultimate protection from impact damage.

Martek offers a range of training options. You can have a dedicated standalone training unit; your LIFEFORCE® AED can be easily converted into a temporary training unit for in-house training, or we can offer on-site certified training.

Further info

Get in touch to see how the LIFEFORCE® AED can save the life of you or your crew.

Put a price on your life today.

You’re Wasting Money On Digital Charts

This simple technique will save you hundreds on your next chart purchase.

Automation is fantastic for business – but are there hidden costs?

Advancements in tech and innovation are crucial to the shipping industry. We’re passionate about cutting-edge products and services at Martek Marine, it’s what makes us.
 
But what if there are times when Artificial Intelligence is costing you? Is it better to have a human eye?

I, robot

It’s a simple voyage. Aberdeen to Oslo.
 
After a few clicks on your route planning software, your route is ready. The helpful system selects the relevant charts.
 
Click. Add to cart. You’ve spent an extra $300.
 
But why is overspending possible when technology is efficient?
 
AI is there to make our lives easier, but you won’t have to look far to find morality issues.

A dilemma of safety

In 2016 a class action lawsuit was filed against Tesla over their driver-less cars. Built around Tesla’s decision not to use its Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system when a driver is pressing on the accelerator.  This decision was blamed for preventable accidents, like driving into a wall.
 
Tesla removed AEB in situations where you’re taking action to avoid a collision.  For example:
  • You turn the steering wheel sharply.
  • You press the accelerator pedal.
  • You press and release the brake pedal
  • A vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian, is no longer detected ahead.
Humans are responsible for 1.25 million road deaths a year. But there are times when the human brain can perform logic currently beyond the grasp of AI.

Back to charts

When it comes to charts, AI plays it safe – with good reason. When balanced with a trained eye, you optimise results.
 
“Tech is great, but without the human touch, you’re overspending. The human element brings years of experience to the fore, making simple, safe and cost-effective decisions.” Steve Dionne
Martek Marine’s Chart expert, Steve Dionne, believes in the balance between man and machine.
 
On 24th September, Steve is holding a free webinar to show you how to save hundreds in chart costs. In 30 minutes, you’ll pick up simple, cost saving tips.

The human touch

There’s a valid argument for autonomous systems. But what do humans bring to the field?
 
Dedicated account managers do exactly what their title suggests. They’re dedicated to your organisation.
 
You’ll notice how similar companies do things differently.
 
It might be their communication methods, their procedures or culture. Although AI will work, each system would need to be customised to the company for full cultural integration.
 
Martek Marine, embrace new ventures and incorporate them with time-tested practice.

The difference: balance

The Martek Marine Chart service does just that. Your dedicated accounts manager manages your digital charts.
 
You’ll plan your routes and order as usual, with one difference. Your chart manager will cast their expert eye over the selected charts. They’ll cut costs, without compromising safety.
 
Working with you regularly, you’re gaining a team member. Your accounts manager will know your processes, and how you run your ship.

Conclusion

It’s possible to balance cost effectiveness without compromising safety. Sign up for the free webinar that will save you hundreds on your next voyage.
 
Make the most of technology with the balance of human interaction. AI is great, but with human support, the possibilities are endless.
 
Find out how our managed Admiralty Chart service can cut costs and fit into your company culture.

Automation for Maritime: The Future of Shipping and Ports

Automation is only going one way. How will it impact you?

It’s estimated that tens of thousands of dollars could be saved each day by introducing automation to a single container vessel – but is this realistically on the horizon?

We’ve spoken at length about drones being used in the future, but what about ships and ports?

Ports

Container cranes at Maasvlakte 2 are unmanned and pretty much fully automated. Aside from a few small processes, the whole operation is managed by computers.

Moving forward, this could be used on a larger scale to speed up the shipping supply chain process, but there are some concerns. Digital errors, unchecked by human eyes could cause damage or harm. There’s also the risk of criminals hacking into the system.

Automated ship
Zero emissions and zero human interaction

Ships

Entirely unmanned, or hosting a small skeleton crew, self-piloting and self-managing – possibly out for testing later this year.

The YARA Birkeland Autonomous Container Vessel plans to be operational on a sea route between Brevik, Herøya and Larvik ports in southern Norway by 2020.

The ship’s navigation and autonomous operations will be supported by a number of proximity sensors, including a radar, a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) device, an automatic identification system (AIS), an imaging system and an infrared (IR) camera.

As well as shipping, there are plans for autonomous cruise ships too.

The looming downside is, of course, a lack of jobs which will impact the shipping industry. That’s not to say this will see jobs lost immediately, with ships like the YARA Birkeland costing three times more than a similar sized conventional ship, and plenty of regulatory and legal requirements to iron out, we don’t expect to see fully autonomous shipping just yet.

Martek Marine will continue our mission to revolutionise ship safety, performance and crew welfare. Where automation is a benefit for the industry as a whole, you can guarantee we’ll be leading the way.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes owes life to AED

“I had absolutely no indication anything was wrong until I woke up in a hospital bed and was told I’d suffered a heart attack. Before that there had been no obvious signs – I hadn’t experienced any pain and was living my life as normal.”

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is no stranger to entering the unknown and is described by the Guinness Book of Records as the greatest living explorer.

He was one of the first people in the world to walk across the Antarctic unaided in some of the most unforgiving surroundings.

To achieve such an amazing goal takes the ultimate level of fitness, stamina and determination, and when you think of someone like Sir Ranulph; you think of a healthy person ready to take the world on. However, on 7th June 2003, Sir Ranulph‘s life took somewhat of an unexpected course into unknown territory.
Sir Ranulph was boarding a flight to Edinburgh at Bristol Airport when he suffered a massive heart attack, just before the plane took off.

Luckily for Sir Ranulph, the emergency fire services who attended to this incident had an AED, which saved his life. Sir Ranulph went on from here to have double heart-bypass surgery at Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Following the incident, Sir Ranulph commented on his escape:
“I was extremely lucky that a mobile defibrillating unit and the expert assistance of the Blue Watch of the Bristol Airport Fire Station were immediately on the scene.”
“I had absolutely no indication anything was wrong until I woke up in a hospital bed and was told I’d suffered a heart attack. Before that there had been no obvious signs – I hadn’t experienced any pain and was living my life as normal.”

AED on board
Are you within 4 minutes of an AED?

Sir Ranulph was one of the lucky ones to survive an SCA, as one of his fellow passengers was a nurse and they managed to get a defibrillator to him within 4 minutes. It would have been a very different picture now had the AED not been available.

Sir Ranulph has since gone on to conquer many more challenges, even running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days for the British Heart Foundation, just 4 months after his operation. Sir Ranulph has pledged to take an AED with him on all his future expeditions as standard and believes that such a small piece of kit should be available in all public places.

After all, he is only alive now because an AED was at the airport.

If you want to improve your chances against SCA you need to know the facts. We’ve put together this e-book with everything you need to know to improve your chance of survival.

Where’s your nearest AED? If it’s more than 4 minutes away, you need to click here.