A hazardous material is any substance or combination of substances that, because of quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, radiological, explosive, or infectious characteristics, poses a substantial present or potential danger to humans or the environment. Generally, such materials are classified as:
Radioactive materials are covered separately in Chapter 10.
Hazardous materials will be found among both ship and scientific stores and include such items as organic solvents, corrosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids, and toxic or reactive chemicals. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) contain a list of product ingredients, indicating information about the type of hazard; recommended personnel protection and precautions; spill or leak procedures; and fire, explosion, health (including first aid), and reactivity data; and most importantly, an emergency telephone number for assistance in the event of an accident. Employers are required to inform employees of what hazardous materials are present in the work place and train them, with the aid of the MSDS, in their proper use and handling. (29 CFR1910)
Rules for stowage, labeling, and handling of hazardous materials for all vessels are given in 46 CFR 194.
A Hazardous Material Table can be found in 49 CFR 172.101. This table lists and classifies those materials, which have been designated as hazardous materials, and prescribes the requirements for shipping, labeling, and transporting. Additional regulatory information and guidelines for hazardous waste are in 49 CFR 172.205 and 49 CFR 105.
Since USCG rules dealing with explosives are stringent and strictly enforced, the Port Captain, USCG Office should be contacted at least 8 weeks prior to the cruise departure date. In addition, Fish and Game Departments, local and state law enforcement agencies, the fire department etc., should be contacted for information on possible restrictions, truck routing, spot assistance and inspections, etc.
The use of explosives, sonic emitters, or towed devices (as well as instrumented moorings) present special hazards to submarine operations and navigation. The National-Geospatial Agency (NGA) (Formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency) has agreed to disseminate information concerning underwater hazards as part of the Notice to Mariner system. See chapter 4 (Operations) for details on reporting these hazards.
Rules for carrying, stowage, and labeling of explosives on board inspected ships are given in Subchapter U, CFR. All UNOLS research vessels should follow these rules. In addition, 49 CFR 176 prescribes requirements for all vessels carrying hazardous materials in the domestic waters of the United States, with some exceptions. Magazines and storage areas should be properly labeled and inspected daily, and safety precautions should be posted. (46 CFR 194.05, 194.10, 196.80, 196.85)
The SOLAS- Consolidated Edition 2004, Chapter VI, Carriage of Cargoes governs the carriage of cargoes. Some of these cargoes may present hazards to ships or persons on board and may require special precautions. The following regulations will guide you in the safe handling of these cargoes:
Part A- Regulation 1- Application states: “this chapter may require special precautions in all ships to which the present regulations apply and in cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage. However for cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage, the Administration (i.e. U.S. Government) if it considers that the sheltered nature and conditions of the voyage are such as to render the application of this chapter unreasonable or unnecessary, may take other effective measures to ensure the required safety for these ships.”
Note: For this ruling UNOLS research vessels are considered cargo ships.
Part A- Regulation 2- Cargo Information.
In this regulation the shipper (i.e. scientist) shall provide the Master or his/her representative with appropriate information on the cargo sufficiently in advance of loading to enable the precautions, which may be necessary for proper stowage and safe carriage.
Scientific supplies, which may include hazardous goods are normally brought aboard research vessels in small quantities in packaged form and not as bulk cargoes. In SOLAS Chapter VII- Carriage of Dangerous Goods guidelines are provided for these instances.
In Part A- Regulation 1, Dangerous goods means the substances, materials, and articles covered by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. Therefore if a chemical is on the IMDG list, the handling of it is governed by these SOLAS regulations.
Note: Regulation 2 states that this part does not apply to ship’s stores and equipment. In this case RVSS does not consider scientific cargo as part of the ship’s stores.
Regulation 3 states the carriage of dangerous goods shall be in compliance with the IMDG Code.
Regulation 4- Documents- All documents must use the proper shipping name of the goods and a correct description. The transport documents prepared by the shipper must provide certification that the item is properly packaged, marked, labeled or placarded, and in proper condition for carriage.
Regulation 5 governs that the cargo units shall be loaded, stowed, and secured throughout the voyage.
Regulation 6 provides instructions that require the reporting of incidents involving dangerous goods. The master or other person in charge must report without delay when an incident takes place involving the loss or likely loss of dangerous goods into the sea.
CRUISE PLANNING: The Chief Scientist will be responsible for providing the following to the ship operator at least 30-days prior to the cruise departure date unless a shorter time is specifically allowed by the ship:
The ship operator will review the provided material and contact the Chief Scientist if there are any questions or concerns. The ship operator will then forward copies of the required information to the vessel or request that the Chief Scientist carry a copy to the vessel for delivery to the Master.
TRANSPORTATION AND DISPOSAL: The Chief Scientist will be responsible for the proper transportation, shipping and disposal of hazardous materials and waste, including the empty containers, associated with their project. Transportation and disposal must be carried out in accordance with Federal, State and Local regulations. In no case will this responsibility be passed to the ship’s crew or operating institution. Each Institution’s Shipping Department can provide up-to-date information about regulatory requirements.
SHIPBOARD HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND POLLUTION: Many of the materials associated with normal operation and maintenance of research vessels are classified as hazardous materials. In addition, waste products and sewage are the subject of pollution control regulations issued by the Coast Guard and other agencies. Research vessel operators have an obligation to ensure that their crews and scientific parties are informed of the hazards associated with these materials and that they are aware of the pollution control regulations so that wastes are not disposed of in violation of the law. Several regulatory documents apply to this area. These are: International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78), 46 CFR 131.935 Prevention of Oil Pollution and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act 33 USC -1321.
LITHIUM BATTERIES: Lithium batteries require special fire extinguishing capabilities depending on the type of material used in the manufacturing process. The Chief Scientist is required to notify the ship operator of the use and/or recovery of instruments using lithium batteries and to supply appropriate fire extinguishing equipment and a stowage locker if one is not available from the ship operator.
INCOMPATIBLE MATERIALS: These are materials that should not be stored together. See 49 CFR 176.83 and Table 176.83(b), General Segregation Requirements for Hazardous Materials for information on incompatible materials. The table found in 49 CFR 172.101 is also helpful in this area.
STORAGE CONTAINERS: Material should remain in their original shipping containers (as received from the vendor) with labeling intact. Working quantities in the amount of a one-day supply can be stored inside the ship. Working containers must be marked as follows: Common or trade name, UN identification number (49 CFR 172.101, Hazardous Material Table), the nature of hazard (flammable, acid, poison, etc.), and the contact information (name and work phone number) of the person using the material aboard the vessel.
COMPRESSED GASES: Must be securely held to the ship structure with metal brackets or positive cargo straps to hold them in place. Ropes or other similar lashings must be avoided. All gas cylinders must have their safety cap in place unless they are in use with a regulator. No cylinder should be moved without the cap in place. See 46 CFR 194.05-15, 46 CFR 194.15-17 and 49 CFR 172, 173, 176.
SPILL RESPONSE: Kits or materials to address spills or accidents are supplied by the user, not the ship. The amount of material brought aboard must be sufficient to address a spill of the entire amount of the specific materials being brought aboard. (For example, if you bring 1 liter of Hydrochloric acid, you need to supply spill response material to clean up a spill of 1 liter of Hydrochloric acid.)
SHARPS DISPOSAL: Syringes, sharps, hypodermic needles brought on board should be treated as a safety hazard and proper provisions should be made for safe use and disposal. Safe disposal of other sharp objects such as broken glass, pipettes, etc. should be included in the laboratory safety plan. The science party is responsible for providing the appropriate “Sharps” container(s).
FUME HOODS: A fume hood is ventilation equipment that vents separately from the ship’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The primary means of controlling airborne chemical exposure is a fume hood. Fume hoods should be used when working with toxic compounds or compounds with a boiling point below 120°C. Air flow surveys of fume hoods should be certified at least annually by the owner of the hood with the proper sash height indicated on the fume hood. Fume hoods should be equipped with trays to catch spills and that do not interfere with ventilation.
OSHA CFR 1910.1450, is the federal laboratory standard. It simply states that you must have a chemical hygiene plan for the lab that includes “A requirement that fume hoods and other protective equipment are functioning properly and specific measures that shall be taken to ensure proper and adequate performance of such equipment”
A couple of other industry group standards are the Scientific Equipment & Furniture Association (SEFA 1-2006) which recommends annual testing of fume hoods. For additional testing criteria, refer to AIHA (Laboratory Ventilation Z9.5-2003), ASHRAE (110-1995), and ANSI. Check with the appropriate department at the (or your) Operating Institution for their rules and regulations regarding fume hood use, safety, and testing.
RESPONSIBILITY: Proper storage, labeling, and spill response (clean-up) is the responsibility of the user. Anyone using hazardous material should be trained in proper laboratory safety procedures. The Chief Scientist shall be responsible for ensuring that safe laboratory procedures are followed including use of personal protective equipment, prohibiting the consumption of food and drinks in labs, and other safety precautions as outlined on MSDS and considered standard laboratory procedures.
CHECK VESSEL REQUIREMENTS: Individual ship operators may have additional (and more stringent) policies regarding the handling, storage and use of hazardous materials. Users should contact the ship operator as early as possible in the cruise planning process to ensure they comply with the vessel requirements.