product_type Book
Fresh Air in Dark Places


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Fresh Air in Dark Places

An essential book for anyone who has the responsibility for ships staff who have to enter spaces onboard that are confined, enclosed, dangerous or otherwise, and must be entered at some time for cleaning, inspection or maintenance.


The authors, Olaf and Erik Olsen, first considered this book after reading yet another account of an enclosed space tragedy resulting in the fatality of merchant seafarers. Despite the fact that the merchant marine world has been provided with guidance, regulation and codes to prevent such accidents, they still continue to happen.


Rather than producing yet another set of best practices, it is hoped that the informative style of this book explains the hazards associated with the activity of entering confined spaces.


Olaf has a Master Mariners certificate and draws on his career experience on tankers and dry cargo ships, together with considerable time in commercial ship management, in maritime education and in his work as an advisory consultant to several international maritime bodies.


Erik is a graduate in health science combining commercial management and broad maritime transport knowledge.


Authors’ Introduction



The Death Toll must be Cut

1 A Straightforward Approach

1.1 Systematic Approach to Safety

1.2 What is ‘Fresh Air’?

Weight of Air and Different Gases – an Introduction to Molecular Mass

1.3.1 Methane

1.3.2 Vapours Lighter than Methane

1.4 The Hazard of Invisible Gases

1.5 Temperature and Pressure Variation

2 What is so Special about Fresh Air?

2.1 Oxygen

2.2 Spaces with less than 20.9% Oxygen

2.3 The Human Need for Oxygen

2.4 Nitrogen

2.5 Carbon Dioxide

3 The Adrenalin Rush and Feeling Superhuman

4 Carbon Monoxide – A Nasty and Sinister Gas

4.1 Threshold Limit Value (TLV)

5 A Most Unpleasant Smell

6 The Hydrocarbons

6.1 Flammability of Hydrocarbons

6.2 More Waxy and Viscous Fluids

6.3 Hydrocarbon Vapours and Flammable Limits

6.4 The Chemical Industry and Alkanes

6.5 Benzene

6.6 CFCs

6.7 Ammonia

Release of Gases from Residues on Chemical

7 So Far, So Good, So What?

8 The Real World

8.1 Hazard Identification

8.2 Risk Assessment

8.3 Checklists

8.4 Signed Entry Permit

8.5 Correctly Monitor and Record

9 Tables of Toxicity

9.1 Source of Data

9.2 TLV, TWA and STEL

9.3 OEL, MEL, WEL and DNEL

10 The Nose is not Enough

10.1 Introduction to Explosimeters

10.2 Introduction to the Oxygen Analyser

10.3 Introduction to the Tankscope

10.4 Tubes and Multi-Channel Gas Detectors

10.5 Testing and Calibration of Instruments

10.6 Summary of the Various Gas Measuring

10.7 Flammable Range Diagram

11 Closing Summary

11.1 Key Points when Preparing to Evaluate the
Atmosphere in a Compartment

11.2 Evaluating the Atmosphere of Secondary