By Max Clarke

Crews of ships transporting potentially dangerous chemicals or gases will be safer in the event of a collision or other accident results in a leak of the cargo thanks to a new ISO standard on breathing apparatus for emergency escape.

ISO 23269-4:2010, Ships and marine technology — Breathing apparatus for ships — Part 4: Self-contained breathing apparatus for emergency escape required by the IMO IBC and IGC Codes, has been developed by ISO to meet the needs of the International Bulk Chemical (IBC) Code and the International Gas Carrier (IGC) Code of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These codes require that self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for emergency escape purposes be carried on board chemical tankers and gas carrier ships.

The purposes of the IBC Code and IGC Code is to provide an international standard for the safe transport by sea in bulk of dangerous and noxious liquid chemicals, of liquefied gases and certain other substances, by prescribing the design and construction standards of ships involved in such transport and the equipment they should carry so as to minimize the risk to the ship, its crew and to the environment.

ISO 23269-4:2010, provides SCBA performance specifications and addresses the following issue deals with:
• Breathing time
• Chemical resistance
• General design requirements
• Environmental test
• Basic performance tests and requirements
• Additional tests and requirements
• Instructions for use
• Practical performance test
• Instructions for use
• Marking.

Claudio Abbate, Chair of the subcommittee that developed the standard, comments: “Collisions, running aground or other accidents could lead to cargo tank damage and uncontrolled release of dangerous products. ISO 23269-4:2010 will help minimizing the ensuing risks to crews.”