Back to Main Page ----- Back to Chapter 3


The connection of cargo hoses or loading arms is an industrial operation requiring a number of prior inspections and precautions. A large percentage of personnel injuries on tankers occur while cargo hoses are being connected. If a work permit system is in use on the tanker, a work permit should be completed for the cargo hose connection operation.

3.6.1 Inspection
The following inspection items must be completed prior to connecting hoses or arms:

  • If ship's derricks are to be used, inspect:

  •    Topping and cargo runner winches.
       Topping lift wires and runner wires for condition.
       Chains and shackles.
       Deck and kingpost fittings and welds for cracks or corrosion.
       Guys or running rigging for condition/damage.
       Lubrication of all lubrication points.
  • Determine the weight of the hose string and compare it to the derrick/crane lifting capacity.

  • Crew personal protective equipment: hard hats, shoes, gloves, eye protection.

  • Portable fire extinguishers.

  • Connection tools, studs, nuts and gaskets.

  • Hose stoppers, slings, or bridles.

  • Inspect the condition of all manifolds to be used, clean/dress any soiled or corroded flange faces.

  • Provide new gaskets for each manifold to be used.

  • Hose flange studs and nuts previously used in one discharge port may be re-used for one loading port, but should be discarded thereafter.

  • Oil adsorbent, brooms, scoops and trash containers.

  • Fire hoses connected and ready.

  • Prepare the hose manifold containment trough and trough pumping-out equipment.
  • Label the manifolds to be used for loading cargo. If multiple grades of cargo will be loaded, label both sides of each manifold valve with the name/grade of cargo to be loaded. As each hose or arm is brought aboard determine the grade of material to be loaded through that arm/hose and mark it with chalk on the surface of the arm/hose.
    The chief officer should also examine the condition of the shore terminal hoses, derricks, loading arms, connecting flanges, gaskets, connecting devices, supporting equipment and personnel protective equipment and to tactfully point out any defects. Hoses should be inspected for kinking, crushing, chaffage, cuts and breaks. Equipment, especially hoses, showing any significant defect should be refused for purposes of loading the cargo. After cargo loading begins, check for sweating, pinhole leaks, bulges, or any leaks around the hose carcass to metal flange joint.
    The derrick must be properly positioned ('spotted') to minimise hose handling. Use light tackles or come-alongs to aid hose positioning efforts.
    Hoses should be fully supported during connection. The hose connection operation provides numerous opportunities for crushed/ broken hands or fingers if conducted carelessly. Ensure that only competent personnel operate winches and that they fully understand any hand or verbal signals/orders to be used.

    3.6.2 Shore bonding wire
    Studies have indicated that a ship-to-shore bonding wire does not achieve the purpose for which it was intended unless the wire is an impracticably large diameter. The preferred method of preventing incentive sparks when the shore arm/hose is brought in close proximity to the ship's manifold is to have installed an insulating hose length or insulating flange connection in the shore hose/arm. The insulating flange prevents the passage of any current from one structure to the other and eliminates the possibility of an incentive sparks, as long as the insulating gasket is properly maintained! On each side of the insulating flange or hose length, the arm or hose must be electrically continuous to the ship or dock to dissipate any static electric charge produced by the moving oil.
    Nevertheless, the use of bonding wires continues to be mandated at some terminals. If required it should be connected as follows:

  • Verify that the bonding wire switch is in the open position.

  • Find an exposed metal point away from the loading manifold and connect the bonding wire clamp to it.

  • Close the bonding wire switch.

  • Connect the loading hoses/arms.
  • 3.6.3 Connecting hoses/arms

    By properly positioning the hose stopper, the connection operation becomes safer and easier.
    1 The hose is lifted high overside and the hose stopper is passed around it and made fast on deck. 2 As the hose is lowered the stopper takes up most of its weight making it easier to manoeuvre the hose into position for connection.

    Where the dock is located well below the ship's hose rail, the hose must be hoisted well up, then a stopper made up on the hose stopper bitts to control the level of the hose while it is connected. A reliable seaman must be put in charge of handling the hose stopper.
    After the connection is made, check that the hose support rigging is suitably positioned for the entire duration of the loading.
    Loading arms are normally connected by the shore terminal personnel, since they are operated by hydraulic equipment located on shore. The ship's officer in charge should conduct the inspections indicated above and observe the connection operation carefully to see that it is properly completed.
    Shore hoses or arms should be empty when brought aboard. If the hoses or arms are full they must be drained into the ship's manifold trough before connecting. Shore personnel must agree to let the ship pump the drainings to the shore containment. After the arms have been connected verify that the loading arm support stand is properly set and tightened up. Also verify that the loading arm vent is closed. Make a logbook entry for the time each hose/arm is connected and the manifold to which it is connected.

    page top
    Hosted by uCoz