What are regulations regarding Pumproom Entry ? |

What are regulations regarding Pumproom Entry ?

  1. Pumproom Entry

1.1 The pump-room is an enclosed space where the atmosphere may be hazardous to personnel due to the presence of hydrocarbon or toxic gases and / or oxygen deficiency.

1.2 As pumprooms are enclosed spaces, are therefore fully applicable to them. However, due to the physical arrangement of pumprooms, and the machinery and equipment fitted, the risks to personnel are materially different, and therefore different procedures apply. Those procedures are set out in this section.

2. Entry Restrictions

2.1 Entry into any pump room is strictly prohibited unless the procedures for pump-room entry as described herein have been fully complied with, and a VALID Pump-room Entry Permit has been issued. In addition, no person may enter any pump-room without first:

  • Having satisfied himself as to, and complied with, the required precautions, procedures and conditions for entry into the pump room.
  • Signing the pump room Entry Permit in acknowledgement of this.
  • Notifying the responsible officer.

 3. Responsibilities

 3.1 The precautions and procedures required for pumproom entry must be fully understood by every member of the crew. They apply to all personnel on board, including superintendents, terminal staff, cargo inspectors, and surveyors.

 3.2 Duty Officer in charge must ensure that all of the required precautions and procedures for pumproom entry have been fully complied with and a valid pumproom entry permit issued, prior to any person entering the pumproom.


4.1 Hazards which could be encountered by personnel in the Pumproom differ from those of other enclosed spaces mainly as follows:

  • Pipelines in pumproom may contain cargo under high pressure, during the time that personnel are present in the space. There is therefore the possibility that failure of a line will result in very rapid and extensive hydrocarbon (and toxic) vapour generation, with little or no warning.
  • Due to the number of valves, pumps and fittings in the pumproom and the pressures involved, there is a likelihood of leaks from seals and glands. This could accumulate in bilges and evolve vapour there.
  • Vibration from pumps increases the possibility of failure of lines, fittings, etc.
  • Hydrocarbon and Toxic gases may be present in any pumproom from leaking covers, seals, glands, joints or pipeline failures and from evaporation from oil accumulated in the bilges.
  • Oxygen deficiency may occur if the space has been closed without ventilation for some time or if inert gas lines (or drains) pass through the space.

4.2 Generic hazards will usually result in the presence of one or more of the following:

  • Hydrocarbon and Toxic Gases.
  • Oxygen Deficiency.

 4.3 In addition to the Pumproom Entry procedure, other procedures may be applicable, including work permits and / or use of the Lock Out / Tag Out system.

 4.4 Measures identified to control hazards should be entered as ‘Special Conditions’ and entered as such in the   appropriate section of the Pumproom Entry Permit.

 5. Pumproom Preparation

 5.1 Bilges

 5.1.1 Bilges should be maintained in a clean and dry state. Oil should not be permitted to accumulate as it presents both a source of fuel in the event of fire and a source of evaporation for gases in the pumproom.

 5.2 Ventilation

 5.2.1 It should be clearly understood that it is only the high capacity of the pumproom ventilation system in relation to the volume of the space, which reduces the additional risks involved in pumproom entry to an acceptable level.

 5.2.2 It is therefore vital that the pumproom is thoroughly ventilated prior to (and throughout) personnel entry.  Ventilation fans should be set to extraction. The doors must be left open if no separate inlet vent is provided at the top of the pumproom. This causes air to enter through the pumproom doors and promotes an escape route with improving air quality as personnel move towards the door.

 5.3 Atmosphere Tests

 5.3.1 The atmosphere tests should be carried out with the ventilation running.

 5.3.2 The atmosphere of the pump room must be tested for hydrocarbon gas and oxygen, and also toxic gas as applicable. The results of these tests shall be entered on the Pumproom Entry Permit. Entry shall not be permitted if any readings outside those stated on the Pumproom Entry Permit or the 8-hour PEL (TLV) are obtained.

 5.3.3 The atmosphere of the pumproom shall be re-tested as required at frequent intervals throughout the period of entry.

 5.4 Communications

5.4.1 Communication shall be maintained always be by means of hand-held intrinsically safe radios.

 5.4.2 Pumprooms shall be fitted with a “sentry” (a drop bar between the handrails or a complete gate) at the top of the pumproom access ladder. It shall be arranged with a double-sided sign such that, when the sentry is closed, the face displayed indicates that nobody is present in the pumproom. When the sentry is opened, the displayed face shall indicate that personnel are down the pumproom.

 5.5 Rescue Equipment

5.5.1 The following equipment shall be ready for immediate use:

  • A rescue harness at the bottom platform, with rescue line ready-rigged through a suitable lead block and shackle at the top of the pump room.
  • Atmosphere testing equipment at the top of the pump room.

5.6 Personal Protective Equipment

  • At least one ELSA shall always be permanently positioned at the bottom of the pump room and shall be checked to ensure it is fully charged on the first entry.

5.6.1 All personnel entering pumproom shall be equipped with a personal oxygen monitor. Where sour crude, chemicals or other toxic products have been carried, appropriate toxic gas monitors should also be carried.

6. Pumproom Entry Permit

6.1 It is a fundamental policy that no person may authorise his own entry into a pumproom. Such an act is strictly forbidden.

6.2  The Pumproom Entry Permit is valid only when it is fully completed and signed. It is only to be used for entering a pumproom for the purposes of monitoring, inspection, lubrication and minor adjustments – It is not a permit to work. The ‘Pump room Entry Permit’ comprises of two pages:

6.3 Page 1 – completed by the designated Officer in Charge. It comprises a single Section and relates to the pre-entry checks to be undertaken; the recording of the initial gas tests and a record of the results of subsequent atmosphere re-test.

6.4 Page 2 – completed by a number of personnel. It covers any special conditions identified for the pumproom entry, the authorisation allowing the entry, the verification by those entering the pumproom that they are satisfied with the conditions and precautions taken for their safe entry and finally a section which records the cancellation of the permit.

6.5 Distribution

6.5.1 Original copy shall be kept in the CCR (or on the Bridge, as applicable) for the duration of entry and then retained on file for review, as verification of vessel’s pumproom entry procedures.

6.5.2 A duplicate of the permit shall be posted at the pumproom entrance, in a plastic wallet.

7. Personnel Entry to the Pumproom

7.1 Prior to each entry and after each exit, the personnel entering shall inform the Officer of the Watch. Entry (names and times) shall be recorded in the Enclosed Space Entry Log. In port, these entries may alternatively be recorded in the Port  logbook.

7.2 In port, the OOW shall check the fixed gas detection readings before the person enters. If the fixed gas detection system is not operational, hydrocarbon gas measurements should be taken using portable equipment, prior to each entry.

7.3 It is very important that personnel accessing the pumproom ensure that the “sentry” gate is always left in the correct position.

 7.4 If a person has to work underneath the pumproom bottom plating (i.e. in the bilge areas) then a second person should be in attendance above the plates to provide safety coverage.

7.5  Pumps and lines requiring work should be drained (not into the bilges) if there is a possibility of product leakage. If   cargo or gas leakage does occur in the pumproom, then the space must be immediately evacuated and full re-entry procedures instigated.

8. Cold and hot Work

8.1 A separate Cold and/or Hot Work permit is required for any work planned in enclosed spaces.

8.2 These permits can only be issued after the enclosed space entry permit has been issued and a responsible officer has carried out a close-up inspection of the intended work area and assessed it as safe to carry out the intended cold work.  They are interactive with the enclosed space entry permit and are automatically cancelled if the latter becomes invalid for any reason.


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