Sectional seminars were held in Las Vegas, Houston and Providence along with a LNG seminar held at the Marine Resource Center in Middletown, RI. All of the seminars were well attended with 16 chemists attending the Pacific sectional, 12 for the Gulf and 17 attending the Atlantic seminar. The LNG seminar held in conjunction with the Atlantic seminar had 23 chemists in attendance.
The seminars concentrated on discussions of NFPA 306 which is currently open for comment. Instructions on how to comment was provided along with a review of some of the comments currently under submission.
Philip Dovinh 667 provided an overview of common wording instructions used by chemists found under the different sections of the EMCC certificate. Included in this was some phrases which should probably not be used. This presentation was well received by those in attendance.
Chairman Robbie Walker 645 presented an evaluation summary of the past years seminars. The presentation indicated that the seminars continue to be useful to the chemists. As in the past, all presentations at this year’s seminars were evaluated by those in attendance. Brian Axelrad 691, Chairman -elect has taken over Robbie’s duties in reviewing the seminar evaluations. The MCA Executive Board strives to make the seminars informative and worthwhile.
NFPA 350, Guide for Confined Space Entry & Work, has been published. It is primarily for general industry and construction industry confined space entry but has content that is applicable to shipyards. NFPA is currently developing a training program for the standard. Robbie Walker 645 and Jim Bruff 671 will be working with NFPA to help to deliver the training course to NFPA customers. The standard is available for viewing and/or purchase on the NFPA website. NFPA is considering setting up a program for land based certificates similar to our EMCC program. This could open up the possibility of using these certificates on tanks which fall outside the scope of NFPA 306.
Revised modules 1-9 and are available on the web portal page that NFPA maintains for Marine Chemists. The first drafts of Modules 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18 will be presented to MCQB for review soon.
The ship-rider program for trainees is still available when a vessel spot opens up and continues to be a worthwhile experience for trainees.
SCP courses provided by NFPA have been slow, there are two lined up but it is expected that the number of courses will not reach past levels as one of the larger customers, ABS has gone to computer based training for SCP’s. These courses had several benefits to the MCA. First of all they provided a conduit to increase the knowledge on the relationship between the Marine Chemist and the SCP to industry, potentially increasing safety. Secondly, it provides an indirect revenue stream to the Marine Gas Hazard Control Program and eventually to the MCA.
Larry reviewed the survey results from EMCC questioner sent to all chemists which was presented at the seminars. There was a general discussion with the MGHCF on updating the EMCC program but no direction has been given yet. The Apple computers are aging and will be replaced on an as needed basis. Larry stressed that all chemists need to back up information on their computers to the Cloud or to an external hard drive. Any information on the computer may not be able to be saved or recovered if the computer is sent back to NFPA for repair or replacement.
Larry has been reappointed to Chemical Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) by the USCG. The committee is developing recommendations for the Coast Guard concerning construction of LNG fuel systems and operations involving the LNG fuel system.