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COPENHAGEN: September 29, 2018. Maersk has implemented new safety guidelines following a "thorough" review of safety practices and policies in the stowage of dangerous cargo.

Following the fire aboard the Maersk Honam in March this year, the company has implemented additional preliminary guidelines for stowage of dangerous goods.

Maersk has evaluated over 3,000 United Nations numbers of hazardous materials in order to further understand and improve dangerous cargo stowage onboard container vessels and developed a new set of principles called Risk Based Dangerous Goods Stowage.

The Risk Based Dangerous Goods Stowage principles have also been presented to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as well as the Danish Maritime Authorities.maersk dangerous goods

“All cargo aboard Maersk Honam was accepted as per the requirements of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code and stowed onboard the vessel accordingly. Despite this, as the fire originated in a cargo hold in front of the accommodation which held several containers with dangerous goods, it had an unbearably tragic outcome,” says Ole Graa Jakobsen, head of Fleet Technology at Maersk. “This clearly showed us that the international regulations and practices with regards to dangerous goods stowage needs to be reviewed in order to optimally protect crew, cargo, environment and vessels.”

The Risk Based Dangerous Goods Stowage principles have been developed with the aim of minimising risk to crew, cargo, environment and vessel in case a fire develops. The differ- ent container vessel designs were reviewed from a risk mitigation perspective and ulti- mately six different risk zones defined.

Cargo covered under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code will no longer be stowed next to accommodation and main propulsion plant which is defined as the zone with the lowest risk tolerance. Similarly, risk tolerance will be low below deck and in the middle of the vessel, whereas the risk tolerance will be higher on deck fore and aft.

In the coming months, a review aimed at creating best management practices for dangerous goods stowage will be undertaken with ABS, Lloyds Register, the International Group of PandI Clubs, National Cargo Bureau, the TT Club and Exis Technologies. Once the project is completed the best management practices will be published and presented to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

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