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Gangway Nets

GangwaynetOne of the most pertinent issues facing grain vessels in the Port of Vancouver is that of gangway nets or ‘save-alls.’ Starting around the beginning of November 2018 we noticed a trend of claims arising against vessels for delays in loading related to non-confirming gangway nets. These issues emanate from longshore labour refusing to board a vessel at a given grain terminal if it is ruled that the netting encompassing the gangway does not fully comply with the standard described in the MOHS Regulations (specifically – ANSI/ASSE Standard A10.11-1989 (R1998)).

Throughout the last couple of months, the majority of issues pertaining to the netting falls within the following categories (taken from ANSI/ASSE) –

6.2 Personnel nets shall be designed and constructed to minimize fall-arrest injuries sustained in the
course of normal use when installed in accordance with the manufacturers’ specifications and the requirements of this standard. Manufacturers shall pay particular attention to 6.3 through 6.6.
6.3 Mesh openings should be small in order to spread the deceleration force through as many net strands as possible, and to minimize entanglement of a fallen person’s head, arms, and legs when arresting the fall. The maximum size of mesh shall not exceed 36 square inches or be longer than 6 inches on any side, measured center-to-center of mesh ropes or webbing. No mesh member shall exceed 6 inches in length measured center-to-center of mesh crossings. All mesh crossings shall be anchored to eliminate frictional wear and prevent enlargement of the mesh openings.
6.4 Design, materials, and construction shall combine to produce a net that will minimize the deceleration and rebound force when arresting a fall.

Each personnel net shall be permanently labeled with the following information:
(1) Name of manufacturer
(2) Identification of net material
(3) Date of manufacture
(4) Date of prototype test
(5) Name of testing agency
(f-5) Serial number

We have made it a point to stress to the Master and crew of an inbound vessel that their gangway net must be in full compliance otherwise loading will not commence until the longshoreman are satisfied the issues have been fully rectified. Obviously this can amount to significant delays especially if a new gangway net is required prior to the commencement of loading.