Extra medicine chest
- An extra medicine chest shall be on board all container vessels carrying dangerous goods. This medicine chest is in addition to the main medicine chest and the contents should under no circumstances be mixed with the main medicine chest.
- The composition of the medicine chest is based on the recommendation included in IMO’s Medical First Aid Guide and an evaluation of required medicament based on the dangerous goods carried in the container vessels.
- In most instances the IMO Emergency Schedule indicates what equipment should be used in case of an emergency and the EmS and MFAG should always be consulted in case of an emergency.
- Normally, dangerous goods in packaged form can be handled without the use of special protective equipment since the packaging is designed to contain the goods without spillage or leakage during transport. However, if the packaging has been damaged the contents may have leaked.Under these circumstances the crew involved in handling the spillage may have to deal with toxic, corrosive or flammable solids, liquids or vapours. Such vapours may arise from a spilt substance or as a by-product of the reaction between spilt substances themselves and other materials.
- Where a substance may offer only little inhalation hazard when spilt, e.g. some toxic solids, “full protective clothing” is recommended; the addition of “self-contained apparatus” is generally recommended when dealing with a fire in the vicinity of such substances.
- Eye protection should always be worn, and whenever hazardous dust is likely to be encountered, respiratory protection should also be used. Where a substance offers a significant toxic hazard when spilt, the general guidance is for the wearing of “protective clothing” and “self-contained breathing apparatus.
- Certain substances emit toxic and/or corrosive gas, vapours or fumes when spilt. For such substances, it may be necessary to “turn the ship off wind”. This is a matter for the Master to decide, using his discretion, and depending on the weather conditions and other circumstances at the time of the incident.
- It is important that the protective clothing and equipment is frequently tested in connection with fire drills, and that the crew is trained in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus and in recharging of empty air bottles.
- Where circumstances are such that dangerous gases or contaminated air may be drawn into the compressor during filling of bottles, the ship’s course must be altered in relation to the wind.
- Protective clothing shall not be used for other purposes than training and during accidents.
- Whenever safety/protective clothing or equipment is found damaged or missing, repair or replacement must be arranged immediately without delay.
- The EmS Guide contains guidance on Emergency Response Procedures for ships carrying Dangerous Goods including the Emergency Schedules (EmS) to be followed in case of incidents involving dangerous substances, materials or articles, or harmful substances (marine pollutants), regulated under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).