Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 15

17 Mar 2021
Author: Mr. Kiran Thorat & Dr. Anand Hiremath

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19 at HKC Compliant recycling facilities


Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in India, the HKC-compliant recycling facilities are taking absolute precautions against the spread of COVID-19. The recycling facilities and the local regulatory authorities have developed standard operating procedures to curb the spread. 

The entry and exit points in each yard are sanitized regularly. The recycling facilities are sanitized every morning before commencing activities and after completing activities in the evening. At entry and exit points, hand wash facilities along with soap are arranged. Washing hands before entering the recycling yard is imperative. The safety officer and HSE team monitor every worker's body temperature and ensure that workers use proper PPE & masks. In work locations, social distancing is assured with strict compliance. 
 

Ship-Recycling-yard-drill

 

During the regular breaks as well, social distancing is strictly followed. Workers are provided with masks, gloves, and adequate PPE. Safety officers supervise the social distancing norms. The number of workers present in the yard at any given time is restricted to ensure adequate social distancing. If a worker is observed with any of the COVID-19 symptoms, he is transferred to the quarantine facility allotted by Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).

The medical attention is provided by the Alang multi-specialty hospital. Primary Health Centre (PHC) arranges regular COVID-19 tests for the yard workers to identify any asymptomatic patients. 

Similar SOPs are developed for the crews who deliver the vessels to the recycling facilities. The COVID-19 test is done for the crews onboard the vessel at anchorage. Once all the crews are tested negative, they are allowed to disembark. A crew member with symptoms is given prompt medication and treated as per the COVID-19 guidelines onshore. Crews are provided with masks and disposable protective clothing. Once the crew disembarks from the vessel, they are immediately transported to the accommodation, and they are not allowed to visit other than designated areas in the recycling facilities. A trained person sanitizes vessels' access points and common areas before yard workers or regulatory authority representatives board the vessel. 

Strict adherence to the above SOPs helps curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensures continuity in the ship recycling process without any loss of time.

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About Author

Kiran Thorat is a Sustainable Ship & Offshore Recycling Executive at GMS, where he looks after sustainable ship recycling projects. Kiran believes that Sustainable Recycling is an integral part of Sustainable Shipping and a notable example of a circular economy. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Marine Engineering and Research Institute (DMET), India, and a Master's Degree in Energy, Trade, and Finance from Cass Business School, London.

Dr. Anand M. Hiremath is a Civil Engineer and holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati), India. He was awarded Doctorate Degree in the year 2016 for his research work on Ship Recycling by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), India. In addition, he has a diploma in Industrial safety, is a qualified lead auditor for ISO 9k, 14k and 18k. Dr. Hiremath published the first practical handbook on ship recycling, entitled: "The Green Handbook: A Practical Checklist to Monitor the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships" which highlights the procedures the GMS RSRP follows to help both Ship and Yard Owners recycle a vessel in an environmentally-friendly manner.

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Ship Recycling Team