Improper bonding during gas freeing leads to dangerous results

The Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis published Marine Safety Alert 01-20 to warn mariners of the dangers associated with improper tank cleaning and gas freeing operations.

Photos from a recent tank barge explosion serve as a stark reminder of how dangerous cargo tank cleaning and gas freeing operations can be if safety regulations under Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1915 and Title 33 CFR Part 154 are not followed and equipment is not properly maintained and inspected before each use. Although the investigation into this casualty is not yet complete, the following information and best practices are being conveyed with the hope that this alert will prompt companies to review and update their procedures to prevent similar casualties from occurring.