Other Cargo Tankers

It is common that many civilians associate the term tankers with oil and oil products, but this is not the case and there are other cargo tankers that specialize in transporting different commodities. To create more awareness on this topic, some points will be mentioned concerning them.

Vegetable oil, chemicals, and Liquid Petroleum Gas are some other cargos that are carries on board tankers. They may sound safe to transport but also have risks and require some precautions to be put in place to avoid disaster.

Vegetable Oil

Some vegetable oils have oxygen reduction properties. This means that they consume or reduce the oxygen level in the tank to danger levels. Even after the cargo has been offloaded the remaining residue has the same effect of reducing oxygen. For this reason it is not advised to enter a vegetable oil tank before it is being ventilated constantly and is directed to the lower reaches of the tank. Deprivation of oxygen could lead to death in a matter of minutes.


The term “chemical” itself describes a certain level of hazard when dealing with the commodity on board tankers. Over 300 different chemicals are carried in liquid form on tankers. Many of these are entirely harmless but others are extremely toxic and dangerous if mishandled. Risk involved in handling chemical are similar to those for petroleum, however there are further added problems.

  • Some chemical contain enough oxygen to burn without an additional supply from air.
  • Some are dangerously toxic and the slightest inhalation of them could mean death.
  • Other can penetrate the skin and entre your blood steam thus leading directly to internal organs. Protective clothing must be worn before handling them.
  • Some like Sulfuric Acid are extremely corrosive where as other can cause severe burns if they touch the skin or blindness if they enter the eyes.






For the above obvious reasons it is a requirement to wear safety and protective clothing. Protective clothing, a helmet, and Gurgles will all help protect your safety when handling these cargoes.

Liquid Petroleum Gas

Liquid forms vapor by evaporation. Evaporation requires heat to happen, this means that LPG requires to be boiling to change to vapor. When LGP leaks it evaporates very quickly, therefore requiring a great deal of heat quickly, which is obtained from the surroundings making the area around the leak very cold.

If you approach the leakage area with no protection you will suffer “frost burn” injuries a condition which resembles normal burn but caused by cold not heat. Never approach a LPG leak without Protection and never touch bare metal surrounding the leak.

Additional Tips

For this same reason caution should be observed when using a simple safety tool like a CO2 fire extinguisher. The same effect happens on the canister and it becomes dangerously cold, for this reason an insulating layer has been provided to protect your hands. This effect is known as the refrigerator effect.

Sometimes entering these hazardous atmospheres is unavoidable and in these circumstances we can take the following precautions to maintain safety:-

  • Wear breathing apparatus,
  • Wear a life line,
  • Have a watch looking at you as you progress with work at all times,
  • Communication equipment is worn,
  • Agree of a form of signaling with the lookout people,
  • Everybody involved has understood the signals and there meanings.
  • Make sure a rescue squad is equipped and ready to give assistance,

For the look out and rescue squad:-

  • Keep a care full eye on your mates below
  • If you can’t see them call out their names time to time and make sure they answer.

If they DO NOT ANSWER and give any SIGNAL:-



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