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Title: HAZMAT in Shipboard Operation and Maintenance

Author: Karen Shull-Archer

Abstract: Hazardous materials (HAZMAT) are routinely used for operation and maintenance of shipboard systems. HAZMAT includes cleaning compounds, solvents, paints, adhesives, lubricants, batteries, and compressed gases. HAZMAT requires specialized shipboard storage based on unique characteristics, such as flammability, corrosiveness, and oxidizing potential. Safe shipboard stowage of HAZMAT is a challenge due to limited space which is outfitted with fire protection, ventilation, sensors, alarms, eyewash stations, and showers. Several shipboard incidents involving HAZMAT have been documented, including onboard USS Whidbey Island, USS George Washington, and USS Miami.

Shipboard HAZMAT must be approved for use on the Ship’s HAZMAT List (SHML). The type and quantity of HAZMAT carried is driven by provisioning documents and maintenance requirement cards (MRCs). Equipment in-service engineering agents (ISEAs) do not realize the implications of HAZMAT in their system(s) on shipboard stowage and safety. Safer and approved alternatives are often available for typical operation and maintenance procedures.

This brief seeks to educate the equipment ISEA on the process for selecting and obtaining authorization for shipboard HAZMAT. Unique process for surface ships and submarines will be discussed, as well as NAVSEA’s new HAZMAT Avoidance Process which requires a risk assessment be performed for all new HAZMAT selected for shipboard use.