ISO tank container fall-prevention protocol
Jul 1, 2006 12:00 PM
The International Tank Container Organization (ITCO) has published a safety protocol aimed at minimizing risks associated with working atop ISO tank containers. The “Prevention of Falls From ISO Tank Containers” Protocol has been developed in cooperation with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in Great Britain and supports an overall HSE program seeking to reduce working-at-height risks across a range of industries.
As a first step, the ITCO protocol calls for the tank industry to minimize the need to access the tops of tank containers, not least by encouraging the provision of bottom-loading facilities at the point of loading and bottom-discharge arrangements at receiving terminals.
The protocol recognizes that the need to access the top of tank containers cannot always be eliminated and that people working atop tank containers need more levels of protection. Collapsible handrails of the type fitted on top of road tankers are not suitable for ISO tank containers and are likely to suffer damage due to the many modes of transport encompassed in a typical tank container journey, and their stowage on container ships. An estimated 60% to 70% of the global fleet of 250,000 tank containers are engaged on deep-sea routes, sailing on container ships.
The ITCO protocol calls for the responsibility of preventing falls to be shared by all depot and terminal facilities handling tank containers through the provision of appropriate and effective control measures, such as fixed gantry and walkway arrangements, with handrails where appropriate.
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