SNAME New York Hears Paper On Marine Gas Chemists

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A meeting of the New York Metropolitan Section of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, held recently at the Buttonwood Restaurant in New York City, featured a presentation on the Marine Chemist.

The topic, "Is This Ship Gas Free? An Overview of the Duties and Training of a Marine Gas Chemist," was treated by Charles L. Keller, a marine field service specialist with the National Fire Protection Service, and included a slide presentation.

Mr. Keller detailed the duties and responsibilities of the marine chemist as they relate to safe repairs of a wide range of vessels. He discussed how the chemist determines if the conditions are acceptable for safe entry into and the conditions necessary for working within confined spaces. He detailed what goes into determining whether an area is posted as "Safe For Workers," "Not Safe For Workers," "Safe For Hot Work," "Not Safe For Hot Work," and "Inerted." The latter can mean inerted with a non-reactive gas or inerted with a flammable compressed gas.

Mr. Keller gave a brief history of the development of this valuable professional group and the various disciplines to which a marine chemist must be exposed during training to meet the certification requirements of the National Fire Protection Association.

He also described the standard procedures followed by a typical marine chemist to assure a vessel is adequately free of residues and gas to allow workers to safely engage in repairs and some of the instrumentation used in making the determination.

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