Shipbreaking conference aims to make industry safer and greener

Mike Schuler
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May 8, 2009

This Monday, an ad hoc diplomatic conference will begin in Hong Kong that aims to make the ship breaking industry safer for its workers and for the environment by considering for adoption the International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships.  During the five day meeting, countries are expected to agree on measures that require new ships to limit the amounts of hazardous materials they’re built with and require older ships to be broken down in yards that meet certain environmental standards.

The new convention will provide regulations for the design, construction, operation and preparation of ships so as to facilitate safe and environmentally sound recycling, without compromising the safety and operational efficiency of ships; the operation of ship recycling facilities in a safe and environmentally sound manner; and the establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling, incorporating certification and reporting requirements.

Additionally, the convention is also expected to require recycling facilities to put in place measures that reduce explosions and other accidents as well ensuring workers are properly trained and provided with safety equipment such as gloves, goggles and face masks.

More on ship recycling at

Scores die breaking down ships in Asia from AFP via Forbes

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