388 - 11/04 - Burn Incident - Hot Oil Cargo

We have been made aware of a recent incident which resulted in two burn casualties onboard a ship discharging refined palm stearin. Palm stearin is an oil cargo carried in heated tanks to prevent it from solidifying. The image below demonstrates the layout of the steam heating coils on the tank top.

The cargo, in this case, was heated to a discharge temperature of 60-70°C and the ship's crew entered the tank when nearing completion of discharge to carry out squeezing and sweeping (stripping) of the tank to avoid ROB as per the charters/owners instructions and as is normal practice onboard ship.

The crew were wearing the correct PPE including wader/sea boots and had the correct equipment on stand-by at the entrance to the tank as was appropriate for the circumstances and cargo. The portable pump was stopped for this operation but was slowly draining cargo back from the discharge line into the tank due to gravity. Three men were within the vicinity of the pump when it started taking air and the returning cargo from the discharge line splashed, causing a spray of the hot oil onto the nearby men.

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Thomas Miller

Date23/03/2009

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