New SOLAS Regulation XI-1/7 for Enclosed Spaces

Mandatory for Vessels to Carry Portable Gas Detectors

Enclosed space entry drills and training every two months will become mandatory as of January 2015 under amendments to SOLAS ( Regulation III/19). It is hoped that these additional measures will help to save lives.

Also, in November 2014 IMO approved amendments to SOLAS in the form of new SOLAS regulation XI-1/7, making it mandatory for all applicable vessels to carry portable gas detectors.

Every ship is to carry at least one appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument which as a minimum is capable of measuring concentrations of oxygen (O2), flammable gases or vapours, hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and carbon monoxide(CO) prior to entry into enclosed / confined spaces, and at appropriate intervals thereafter until all work is completed.

As advised in guidelines  MSC.1/Circ.1477  “It should be noted that, given a ship’s specific characteristics and operations, additional atmospheric hazards in enclosed spaces may be present that may not be detected by the instrument recommended to be selected by these Guidelines, and in such cases, if known, additional appropriate instruments should be carried.”

A personal gas detector intended to be carried by an individual whilst inside an enclosed space is not considered suitable.

This requirement will enter into force on 1 July 2016. However, IMO urge early voluntary compliance with this regulation from 1 January 2015 to coincide with the new enclosed space entry and rescue drill requirement.

Persons with enclosed space entry responsibilities should be familiar with the content of IMO Resolution A.1050 (27)  “Revised Recommendations for Entering Enclosed Spaces on Board Ships”, and MSC.1/Circ.1477  “Guidelines to facilitate the selection of portable atmosphere testing instruments for enclosed spaces as required by SOLAS regulation [XI-1/7]”.

In short, the SOLAS XI-1/7 regulation requires gas detectors to be dedicated 4-gas portables (not personal), capable of 10 hours continuous operation, waterproof and dustproof to Ingress Protection rating IP67, and capable of remote detection (using a pump with a sample hose) suitable to test the atmosphere in an enclosed space before entry.  Calibration is also a requirement, as prescribed by the manufacturers’ instructions. We recommend as best practice to bump test and/or calibrate as frequently as is practical on-board the vessel.

Our recommended instrument is the Riken Model GX-8000 (Type B) with ATEX & MED (Wheelmark) certification. Already found and used on many vessels, this robust, lightweight instrument has a  powerful built-in pump that will draw a sample from 30m within a few seconds; designed to provide continuous and simultaneous exposure monitoring in hazardous areas of flammable, oxygen(O2) and toxic gases (carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) ) in air.
GX-8000 Features Diagram
The 0-100% volume Thermal Conductive sensor in the Riken Model GX-8000 (Type A) additionally allows monitoring of volume levels of combustibles in oxygen-depleted environments and inert gas atmospheres. This combination of sensor makes for a versatile detector, suitable for dual-use applications such as Confined Space and Purging or Inerting. It’s rugged IP-67 waterproof design makes it well suited to harsh, tough marine environments.

An economical alternative for smaller vessels over 500 gross tons, such as Commercial Yachts, and Private Yachts Limited Charter (PYLC), and Cargo Carriers, is the Personal Gas Monitor Riken Model GX-2009 (Type A) with ATEX & MED (Wheelmark) certification.

This gas monitor is designed to provide measuring concentrations of Oxygen (02), flammable gases or vapours , toxic gas (CO, H2S) in hazardous environments. The GX-2009, when used together with the hand pump aspirator kit and a sampling hose, can be used as a portable instrument capable of remote sampling and detection for all gases that it is designed for, without interference from the atmosphere or other characteristics prior to entry enclosed space. When used as described the instrument is in compliance with SOLAS REGULATION XI-1/7.

For further information or if you would like a quotation, please get in contact with us.