A Guide to Asbestos Awareness and Removal in Ships


The Silent Threat: A Guide to Asbestos Awareness and Removal in Ships

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral composed of thin, microscopic Fibers. These Fibers are strong, heat-resistant, and chemically inert, making them ideal for a variety of industrial applications. Historically, asbestos was widely used on ships due to its unique properties like heat resistance, good strength properties, flexibility, excellent thermal properties, and absorption capacity. These properties made asbestos a versatile and cost-effective material for shipbuilding and once hailed as a wonder material, but now casts a long shadow over the maritime industry. Lurking within the hulls of countless ships, it carries a silent threat – the potential for devastating diseases like mesothelioma, and lung cancer as few studies found it to be carcinogenic. This led to its initial restriction in some applications and eventually a complete ban.

As a result, international regulations on asbestos on ships are primarily governed by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Regulation 3-5 of Chapter II-1: Construction – Structure, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations. Here’s a breakdown of the key regulations (from MSC.1/Circ.1374/Rev.1).

  1. Ships built before 1 July 2002 can have ACMs (Asbestos Containing Material) on board. However, the ACMs are only allowed if they do not pose a risk to the crew’s health.
  2. Since 1 July 2002, the installation of materials that contain asbestos has been prohibited for all ships, except for some vanes, joints, and insulation.
  3. From 1 January 2011, any installation of materials that contain asbestos will be prohibited for all ships without exceptions.

Those who have sailed the seas, breathing in the invisible fibers unknowingly, know the fear, the uncertainty, the pain of an asbestos-related illness, and the toll it takes on their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Their stories are a powerful testament to the importance of asbestos removal and the need for companies to take proactive measures to protect their crew members and to adhere to regulations and procedures for asbestos removal, non-adherence to regulations can lead to significant consequences, including hefty fines from port authorities. Seafarer’s stories starkly remind us of the dangers we must combat.

With 400+ successful projects under its belt, Verifavia stands as a beacon of safety in a sea of danger. We stand tall as the industry’s leading provider in this critical area. We offer a comprehensive suite of services to address all aspects of asbestos identification, management, and removal including. We’re committed to ensuring the utmost safety and adherence to regulations for our clients. We help empower shipowners to deal with ACMs onboard through our various Asbestos Handling Services:

  1. Preparation of Asbestos Management Plans (AMPs)
  2. Asbestos Resampling services
  3. Asbestos Removal services (along with supervision and management)
  4. Asbestos Disposal Services

Our team of Hazmat experts and certified Asbestos handling teams are present on all major trading routes around the globe and can assist in:

  1. Reviewing ACMs present onboard and develop a customized AMP as per regulatory and specific Flag requirements. To provide the crew with a clear procedure for managing and mitigating asbestos risks. Currently, we stand at 100% dispensation grant record for more than 200 AMPs developed so far for various Flag States (including DMA and Netherlands).
  2. To ensure accurate representation of ACMs onboard we have conducted around 70+ Asbestos Resampling Projects were undertaken (in conjunction with multiple approved Laboratories around the world) with results largely in favor of the shipowners thus significantly mitigating costs incurred during the removal of ACMs.
  3. We have successfully carried out more than 110+ Asbestos Removal Projects (along with certified asbestos handling teams) and 200 Asbestos Disposal Projects (under an approved disposal facility). We manage the removal process, ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations, and minimizing disruption to your operations. We provide ongoing support and guidance throughout the process, ensuring a safe and successful outcome, thus, encompassing all ACMs-related services under one roof ensuring end-to-end regulatory compliance at all levels.
  4. We remain at the forefront of regulatory compliance regarding asbestos management and removal. We translate this expertise into invaluable advice and guidance, ensuring your company adheres to all relevant national and international regulations. This proactive approach minimizes potential penalties, and delays, and promotes a safe and compliant environment.

Our commitment to safety is reflected in our successful track record and proven ability to deliver exceptional results on time and within budget. We offer cost-effective solutions without compromising on quality or service, ensuring that maritime companies can prioritize the health and safety of their crew without incurring excessive costs. We actively advocate for stricter regulations and raise awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure, working to make the maritime industry a safer place for everyone.

Ensure your crew’s health and avoid penalties. Partner with Verifavia and navigate seas with safety and confidence. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you safeguard your vessels and comply with regulations. Choose Verifavia and join the fight against a silent threat. Build a safer future for your crew, the environment, and the families who depend on the maritime industry. Let us work together to chart a course towards a safer tomorrow.

Supplier Admin Dashboard - MDs & SDoCs for Maritime Suppliers made easy

Supplier Admin Dashboard – MDs & SDoCs for Maritime Suppliers made easy