Are we compromising life due to enclosed spaces?

Once again the subject of enclosed space fatalities is back in the marine news headlines following a spike of fatalities and incidents over the past 18 months. I for one find it very distressing to read about this phenomenon on a regular basis, which could surely be prevented? This news story brings the numbers into stark reality and, as it clearly shows, 2018 was a shockingly bad year, in fact the worst since statistics became available back in 1999; and 2019 has started in a similar vein with more high profile cases. Seemingly we do we not learn as an industry. Why? At the very least it would seem sensible to take appropriate precautions before entering an enclosed or confined space. I wonder if it simply a lack of training and education, because I suspect it runs deeper than that. None of us is immortal and indestructible. We think it will not happen to us. But I urge any marine surveyor to take extreme caution when entering an enclosed space and, let me remind you, small spaces in yachts and small craft can present an equally challenging and potentially hazardous enclosed space environment. OK rant over, but take care in your work!

On a lighter note, I had the absolute pleasure to spend time with a group of IIMS members in Palma de Mallorca for the annual Western Mediterranean Large Yacht & Small Craft Working Group annual training event. It was a great event and well attended too across the three days. The masterclass on the Volvo Penta IPS engine system delivered by Camber Marine, main dealers on the island, was very well received. This was supplemented by some first class and highly knowledgeable speakers that same afternoon and the following day. But the jewel in the crown was absolutely the sea trial on the Saturday morning attended by a small group of surveyors. As I look back now, I realise how very lucky we were to be able to set up such an activity. A unique opportunity. I thank all those who have given so generously of their time to make Palma such a successful event.

I’d like to remind all IIMS members that the IIMS London Conference and AGM are looming very large now. We are headed back to a great venue, Regent’s University in central London on 17/18 June. I believe we have lined up some first class speakers and have content for all types of surveyors to benefit from across the event. Remember this year both the Conference and AGM are open to real time and online delegates. Will I get to meet you there? I do hope so.

Survey well.

Mike Schwarz
Chief Executive Officer


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