The work environment during tank inspections has been drastically improved with a connection to the machine room ventilation system. Roshan Kandemir, ship engineer, came up with the idea.
Five years ago Roshan Kandemir changed ships at Donsötank to M/T Evinco, and at the same time was promoted to ship engineer. The new job meant more personnel responsibility, which became an eye-opener when looking at the work environment on board.
“When we were going to vent a fuel tank before an inspection, my second engineer complained about a headache and the motorman said that he couldn’t stay in the engine room because of the fumes. I went down with a meter, which directly indicated H2S (hydrogen sulphide, ed.), despite the fact that I was one deck up.”
Ventilation of the tank was carried out using a portable fan and a large diameter flexible hose that was put in through the manhole to blow in fresh air. As air was blown into the tank, however, the toxic fumes were forced out into the engine room.
“There is a gooseneck in the top of the tank, but the diameter is so small that most of the air escaped through the manhole, and since we have quite an open engine room, the fumes can spread easily,” says Roshan Kandemir.
He decided that the engine room should be closed to personnel while the tanks were ventilated, although that meant all ongoing work would have to be discontinued and a whole working day would be lost. Roshan Kandemir began to consider alternative solutions and soon realized they did not need be very complicated. A sheet of plywood was cut to the same dimensions as the manhole on the tank, and two outputs were arranged on it. Two 20-metre flexible hoses were then ordered and attached to the outputs. The only thing that remained was to connect them to the existing fan and ventilation systems.
“One hose is connected to the portable fan and the other to the extractor fan in the engine room ventilation system. The system is completely closed and nothing can leak out,” says Roshan Kandemir.
On 16 May at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Roshan Kandemir was awarded a prize by the Swedish Mercantile Marine Foundation for his innovation. There were others from Evinco that received awards, too. The fact that this particular ship is represented, Roshan Kandemir believes, is largely due to the ship’s chief mates.
“Both are young and push for improvements, but there are a number of us involved. I have worked to get more training equipment for the gym and to make it easier to stream and share films. We spend half our lives on board, so you want to make things as good as possible.”
Studying to be an engineer at Chalmers University of Technology was a dream that Roshan Kandemir had for a long time, although he hadn’t thought about shipping at all until a friend started at the Marine Officer Academy in Gothenburg.
No room for negligence
“He told me what it was like with the travelling and long leave, and I thought it sounded interesting. After the first work placement I was hooked. I really like the variation in the work – one day is never like another – and all the challenges you face.”
His last work placement was on Evinco and after graduating he was offered a job with Donsötank.
“I have developed some kind of love of the tanker sector,” he says. “On the spot market you never know which the next port will be and every time the phone rings it’s just as exciting. On tankers you must always be on your toes and there’s no room for negligence. I like that.”
Family: Wife and children, 6 & 3.
Lives: Apartment in Gothenburg.
Currently: Recipient of Merc-antile Marine Foundation work reward 2018.
Background: Started working at 18 in the catering trade. Driver for the municipal taxi service. Marine engineer programme at Chalmers University of Technology. Donsötank since graduating in 2011.
Work environment tip: Keep in mind that as seafarers we spend half our lives on board. It’s important to make things as good as possible in terms of the work environment, safety and job satisfaction.
Linda Sundgren, text and photo