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Following an incident involving entry in enclosed spaces procedures, the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) is proposing changes to enclosed space regulations on ships

Enclosed spaces present one of the biggest hazards to those working on board ships and fishing vessels. Without positive ventilation, the atmosphere within an enclosed space can quickly deteriorate and result in oxygen deficiency, become toxic, flammable or explosive. Enclosed space hazards are not limited to atmosphere contamination; other dangers can include exposure to extreme heat or flooding.

MAIB has conducted many investigations into fatal accidents that occurred in enclosed spaces on both Merchant ships and commercial fishing vessels. In its most recent report of the investigation of the death of a crew member on board the UK registered fishing vessel Sunbeam (MAIB Report 19/2020), it made a recommendation, that was accepted by the MCA, to apply the Merchant Shipping (Entry into Dangerous Spaces) Regulations 1988 to all commercial fishing vessels.

During DfT’s Maritime Safety Week, all members of the fishing industry are urged to consider the MCA’s public consultation for the proposed merchant shipping and fishing vessels (entry into enclosed spaces) regulations 2021, which would replace the merchant shipping (entry into dangerous spaces) regulations 1988.

The MCA would like views by Monday 19 July 2021 on:

the implementation of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) amendments into UK legislation extending the regulations to vessels not currently regulated by SOLAS, and extending the regulations to fishing vessels