Chemical Tankers: A Pocket Safety Guide - 3rd Edition

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
August 2022
Book Height:
210 mm
Book Width:
120 mm
0.7 kg
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This book provides best practice guidance for tankers carrying chemical and similar hazardous products. It is a good introduction to safe tanker practice, terminology and standards, and is a useful tool to crew members with little to no practical experience.

This book is listed as a “Publication required to be onboard” in the CDI Ship inspection questionnaire.

This book should be used in addition to the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which sets standards for the company’s safety management system (SMS) and operating manuals. These standards must be followed carefully as they provide the details and procedures essential to safe work at sea.

The Guide features information necessary to carry out basic tasks safely and details potential hazards, what to do if a problem arises, and how to mitigate the risks through best practice. A glossary of technical terms is included, with graphical representation of more complex concepts.

This book explores best practices on tankers carrying chemical and similar hazardous products and provides a good introduction to safe tanker practice, terminology and standards. It is not a detailed operational guide, but is aimed as basic safety information for seafarers of all ranks and positions. It is suitable for seafarers who may be rejoining a tanker after leave for example, or for a person with little or no experience on tankers, in particular cadets and new ratings. Ideally, it should be read to aid the familiarisation process whenever you join a tanker.

The International Safety Management (ISM) Code sets standards for your company’s safety management system (SMS) and operating manuals. These will provide the details and procedures to allow you to work safely at sea, so you must follow them carefully. This book is an addition to these standards and not an alternative to them.

As a crew member working with dangerous cargoes, you should have a clear understanding of operations on board a tanker. Therefore, you are encouraged to seek further information and detail beyond the overview of subjects given here. In particular, you should read the CDI publication ‘Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage and Distribution Depots (BLCH Guide)’.

Not all of the cargoes carried on chemical tankers are hazardous. However, most do have some level of safety and/or pollution hazard connected to them. The marine industry recognises this and, through design, regulation and best practice, has controlled or removed many of the hazards.

When reading this book, you may find terms that are new to you. A glossary of technical terms is provided at the end and you should refer to this if you are uncertain about meanings. If you are still unsure, ask a senior officer or other responsible member of the crew.


Safety – the Main Message

About this Book

Chapter 1 – The Ships

1.1 General Information

1.2 Cargo Categories

1.3 Ship Types

1.4 Cargo Tank Types

Chapter 2 – Safety Systems

2.1 Risk Assessments

2.2 Permit to Work (PTW) Systems

2.3 Toolbox Talk

Chapter 3 – Personal Safety

3.1 Induction and Familiarisation

3.2 The Safety Officer

3.3 Slips, Trips and Falls

3.4 The Effects of Slips, Trips and Falls

3.5 Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

3.6 Life on Board

Chapter 4 – Manual Handling

4.1 Manual Handling

4.1.1 Manual Handling – Assessment

4.1.2 Manual Handling – Best Practice

Chapter 5 – Personal Protective Equipment

5.1 Head Protection

5.2 Eye and Face Protection

5.3 Respiratory Protective Equipment

5.4 Ear Protection

5.5 Body Protection

5.6 Hand and Finger Protection

5.7 Foot Protection

5.8 Fall Protection

5.9 Buoyancy Aids

Chapter 6 – Equipment Hazards

6.1 Fixed Equipment

6.2 Portable Tools and Equipment

6.3 Hot Work

6.4 Laundry Equipment

6.5 Use of Paints and Working Chemicals

Chapter 7 – Fire Hazards and Extinguishing Fires

7.1 Fire Hazards

7.2 Discovering a Fire

7.3 Classes of Fire

7.4 Types of Fire Extinguisher

7.5 Using a Fire Extinguisher

Chapter 8 – Chemical Cargoes and Vapours

8.1 Safe Working Limits

8.2 Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

8.3 Chemical Hazards

8.4 Case Study: ‘Stolt Groenland’

8.5 Corrosive Cargoes

8.6 Toxic and Poisonous Cargoes

8.7 Flammable Cargoes

8.8 Reactive Cargoes

8.9 Vegetable and Animal Oils

8.10 Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S)

8.10.1 Effects of H2S

8.11 Benzene (C6H6)

8.12 Carbon Monoxide (CO)

8.13 Nitrogen (N2)

Chapter 9 – Enclosed Spaces

9.1 What is an Enclosed Space?

9.2 Why are Enclosed Spaces Dangerous?

9.3 Entering an Enclosed Space

9.4 Duties of the Attendant

9.5 Duties of the Responsible Person/Competent Person

9.6 Communication

9.7 Breathing Apparatus

9.8 Rescue Operations

9.9 Specialised Areas

9.10 Sampling, Gauging and Tank Measurement

9.11 Gas Detection Equipment

9.12 Testing Hazardous Atmospheres

Chapter 10 – Operational Hazards

10.1 Cargo Operations

10.2 Mooring Operations

10.3 Towing Operations

10.4 Anchoring Operations

10.5 Safe Access

10.6 Static Electricity

Chapter 11 – Lifting Operations

11.1 Lifting Equipment

11.2 Risk Assessment

11.3 Safety Rules for Lifting Operations

11.4 Load Security

11.5 Cranes and Winches

11.6 Gantry Cranes

11.7 Hand Signals for Lifting Operations

Chapter 12 – Inspections

12.1 Safety Inspections

Chapter 13 – Drills and Emergencies

13.1 Drills

13.2 Emergency Response

13.3 Actions in the Event of Pollution

13.4 Shipboard Marine Pollution Emergency Plan (SMPEP)

Chapter 14 – Cyber Security

14.1 Cyber Risk Management

14.2 Types of Cyber Attack

14.3 Protection from Cyber Attacks

14.4 Identifying a Cyber Security Attack

14.5 Passwords

Chapter 15 – Health and Wellbeing

15.1 Healthy Eating

15.2 Fitness and Exercise

15.3 Heat Stress

15.3.1 Effects of Heat Stress

15.4 Mental Health

15.4.1 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

15.5 Bullying and Discrimination


The CDI is a chemical industry organization, incorporated under the law of the Netherlands as the Stichting Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) and operates as a non-profit making foundation.

CDI is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of seven individuals nominated by the participating chemical companies. The Board of Directors establishes policy and is responsible for overall affairs of the foundation. Individual Executive Boards are elected to oversee and direct the staff managing day to day activities for the Marine, Terminals and Marine Packed Cargo Schemes.

Number of Pages:
Published Date:
August 2022
Book Height:
210 mm
Book Width:
120 mm
0.7 kg


Publication Date:
August 2022