Before dying one of the workers alerted his family and the yard managers of the accident via his mobile phone. The families rushed to the yard, but found the gates locked.
“One of the survivors told me that he could have saved at least two of the workers if the yard had provided them with oxygen. Instead, the yard management wanted to hide the bodies,” said Ali Shahin. “The families, who had been alerted of the accident, finally managed to break the gates of the yard. But it was, unfortunately, too late to save the workers.”
Zakir Hossain, deputy inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Safeties of Shops and Establishments, told the newspaper, “Our inspector visited the factory and found the accident had occurred due to negligence. We will serve a notice on the owner.”
Shipbreaking involves the dismantling of old ships for scrap recycling of their steel and other equipment on board.
Around one million tonnes of steel are dismantled in Bangladeshi shipyards every year. The country’s shipbreaking industry provides direct and indirect employment for about 200,000 people.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform has launched a website – www.offthebeach.org – which lists all the ships that have been sent for breaking on the beaches of South Asia since 2009. The site aims to promote safer and cleaner ship recycling and to inform cargo companies wishing to select responsible ship-owners to carry their goods around the world, the organisation explains.
The website is part of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform’s ‘Off the Beach!’ campaign, which is designed to raise awareness of harmful shipbreaking practices and to promote the alternatives. Shipbreaking on the beaches of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan involves worker rights violations and severe environmental degradation, it is claimed.
The NGO Shipbreaking Platform underlines that some of the shipping companies listed for having sent vessels to what it deems to be substandard facilities have subsequently changed their recycling policies. These ‘success stories’ are featured in the blog section of the website where the Platform will also highlight setbacks.
For more information, visit: www.shipbreakingplatform.org
Frank Allen of Astoria, Oregon is quickly becoming one of my heroes.
He is proposing a ship breaking facility in Astoria. Recycling ships can be toxic, and in countries without regulations life-threatening. But leaving ships to degrade and rot (which we have in our waterways everywhere) is a travesty to the waters, the materials, and the history of a working vessel.
We wish Frank Allen the best of luck in his quest.
By EDWARD STRATTON
“What we’re proposing is not shipbreaking,” said Frank Allen, a partner with Scott Fraser in Blue Ocean Environmental, standing at the front of a packed Port of Astoria Commission meeting Tuesday night.
During a presentation, he talked as much to the audience as he did the Port commissioners.
The abnormally large crowd gathered in anticipation of Blue Ocean’s proposal for recycling the metal from derelict vessels at the Port’s North Tongue Point facility. Several previous applications for shipbreaking on the Columbia River have been rejected in recent years because of widespread fears that toxic materials would pollute fragile salmon areas.
The Port and Blue Ocean had a nondisclosure agreement that was recently lifted.
“I have a job,” said Allen, adding that he works in the international seafood trade. “This is just something that bothers me.”
There are 300 derelict vessels in Oregon and 400 in Washington deteriorating and polluting the environment, said Allen. Thousands are being disposed of without any environmental concerns, he said.
He said the two options with this issue are to be proactive or do nothing.
“There’s a lot of hurdles to doing this right,” said Allen, who offered to rent a space in Astoria for multiple town halls to discuss how his company wants to recycle vessels. “The true thing is to do this very slowly, very carefully.”
His operation would start with a small, 60- to 70-foot vessel at North Tongue Point. Blue Ocean would bring in specialists to remove the toxic substances, recycle the metal and ship it by barge to Seattle. Steel firm Nucor Corporation (www.nucor .com) will take it for what Allen said would currently be about $19 a ton and reprocess it for use in the U.S.
“We’re working directly under the EPA,” said Allen, adding that the operation’s primary environmental monitor reporting to the state would be the Maul Foster & Alongi engineering firm of Portland. The U.S. Coast Guard would also be involved in permitting Blue Ocean to tow any vessels in.
“We’re doing it to prove a point: that it can be done,” said Allen, adding that it’s going to build up over a number of years and not be a moneymaker to start. He asked for a chance to try the process on a small, possibly local vessel, after which Blue Ocean, the Port and the public could go over the results and decide whether to keep Blue Ocean around.
“The good thing for the community about this … it’s so labor intensive,” said Allen. “It takes so much manpower to get this done. And they’re not minimum-wage jobs.”
Along with a willingness to give three or four public presentations, Allen said he’ll look into creating an email account specifically for people with questions about his proposal and will provide information to the public that isn’t proprietary. Blue Ocean doesn’t currently have a web site.
“Years down the road, we’d like to work on larger vessels,” said Allen, adding that he sees Tongue Point being able to handle 50 vessels a year at full capacity. “Someone’s got to address this. It can’t keep going the way it’s going.”
Oregon or Washington native? You will want to read the entire article via Shipbreaking is ‘recycling,’ Port is told – Daily Astorian: Free.
Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik said: “Although the ship recycling sector has improved its practices, many facilities continue to operate under conditions that are dangerous and damaging. This proposal aims to ensure that our old ships are recycled in a way that respects the health of workers as well as the environment. It is a clear signal to invest urgently in upgrading recycling facilities.” The new rules, which will take the form of a Regulation, propose a system of survey, certification and authorization for large commercial seagoing vessels that fly the flag of an EU Member State, covering their whole life cycle from construction to operation and recycling.
Decommissioning ships – or shipbreaking kills people.
Poor people of course. Poor people that live very far from where the ships are originally created.
Lets do something about this shall we? Start by just learning that this dangerous industry exists. We’ll help with that part.
If you have any good ideas to get the word out about shipbreaking, we’d like to hear them. Please use the comments section to let us know. Thanks!
Given the appalling conditions here, some have even called for a moratorium on Asian shipbreaking. “Despite the possibility of proper disposal in Europe or other developed countries, the vast majority of European shipping companies continue to profit by having their ships broken cheaply and dangerously on the beaches of South Asia,” says Patrizia Heidegger, executive director of the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. “The EU must adopt mechanisms that will prevent European ship owners from exporting toxic ships for breaking in developing countries and instead recycle them according to the health, safety and environmental laws and standards of their own countries.”
Read this article via Shipbreaking: World’s most dangerous job? – Salon.com.