RESPONSIBILITY OF CARGO OFFICIALS AND INSPECTION OF COMPARTMENTS BEFORE LOADING

On board ship the Cargo officer is responsible for the safe and efficient handling and stowage of cargo. This officer should secure proper preparation of the holds before loading and he supervises during the time the ship is receiving or delivering the cargo.

The stevedore is usually in charge of any cargo work that is loading or unloading (discharging). He is responsible for securing the ship with a sufficient number of gangs, cargo-handling machinery and besides he organizes transporting cargoes from the ship to the sheds or warehouses.

The stevedores should inspect the compartments before the beginning of cargo work. The holds and other compartments must be clean, dry and well aired. No dirty or stained dunnage remaining. Cargo battens must be in good condition. Cement chocks between frames unbroken and free from cracks. Scuppers clear. Bilges free and clean. Hatch-boards complete. Appropriate tarpaulins available. Suitable dunnage available. When they are gojng to load grain, at the preliminary survey special attention could be paid to:

  1. plans of the vessel showing the proposals for erection of shifting boards,
  2. sections of the limber boards (they must be clear for inspection of the bilges, which must be clean and clear of any refuse liable to choke the suction pipes),
  3. entering the bilges (they must be absolutely grain-tight),
  4. longitudinal grain-tight shifting boards (they must be fitted from deck to deck or deck to ceiling in any compartment of the hold and must be continuous for the whole length of the compartment or hold),
  5. shifting boards (it is recommended to accept shifting boards of a minimum 2 inches made of good sound timber; shifting boards must be securely fitted at bulkheads).
When bulk does not completely fill the compartment in which it is carried and is secured by bagged grain or other suitable cargo laid on top of the grain in bulk, such bagged grain or other cargo must be laid on platforms which, in their turn, are placed on the bulk grain and so stowed as to prevent the grain from shifting.

The stevedore should supervise cargo work and he should make some entries in his book concerning times of starting and finishing work, times of and duration of any stoppages, with reasons for some. He should know hatches working and number of gangs employed. He should make notes concerning state of the weather and ventillating systems employed, approximate number of tons of cargo worked during the day, draught, fore and aft, and condition of trim.