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Safety Measures

  • Use of PPE is made mandatory for workers by ship-recyclers.
  • Workers are regularly sent to the training centre for safety education.
  • Emergency treatment is provided by Red Cross Hospital.
  • Regular medical checkup camps are arranged by Ship-recyclers in co-ordination with GMB.
  • The accident rate has decreased considerably.
  • Health awareness camps are organized on regular basis.
  • Hoardings and slogans in local languages are displayed at various corners of the plot premises to keep reminding the workers regarding the safety.
  • Safety audit is conducted jointly by GMB and ship recycling industries association.
  • GMB and GPCB monitor the safety standards on regular basis.
  • Life buoys are kept on board the vessel during its recycling for emergency exit to the sea incase of fire.
  • Safety belts are provided to workers working on board the vessel.

Types of Wastes

    Hazardous Waste


    Non-Hazardous Waste

  • Glass wool and insulating material
  • Thermocol
  • PVC/Rubber wire-tubes
  • Ceramic/glass and Solidified cement
  • Bio medical waste
  • Kitchen waste
  • MSW waste

Handling of Waste

  • Ship-recyclers provide on-site collection, storage facility for the storage of waste.
  • Ship-recyclers maintain the records of waste generation, storage, treatment and disposal.
  • The workers are provided with PPE’s when they collect the waste generated from the vessel.
  • Plot holders display all the information of waste generated on the board outside the plot premises.
  • GCPB issues decontaminate certificate only after ensuring the safe handling of waste generated.
  • Oil obtained from ships is sold to MoEF registered traders. The residue is collected and sent to the TSDF site at Alang.
  • A substantial portion of cable retrieved from vessels is sold to as it is for re-use purpose. And the remaining portion of cable is either stripped by ship-recyclers for recovery of non-ferrous metals like copper or is sold to GPCB registered recyclers. A part of rubber and plastics obtained by stripping is sold as recyclable material and the remaining waste is disposed off at TSDF site.
  • Glasswool, thermocol, kitchen waste and other waste collected from the vessel is sent to TSDF at Alang.
  • Water pumps are arranged at plot and on board the vessel for pre-caution.

Interesting Facts

  • PCB’s used in insulation and oil in transformer has been banned since 1976. Ships are regularly repainted during its life. Ships arriving for demolition after 1976 are repainted and therefore the question of presence of PCB in such ships does not arise at all.
  • As ships go for dry-docking and repainting the TBT containing paints, which have been banned since 2000, should be phased out slowly.
  • The pollution from the ships is not merely a part of the ship recycling activity. The anti-fouling paint wipes against the seawaters everywhere and even falls in the repair yards. If 4% of the vessels are scrapped each year then 25% of the vessels is put up in the dry dock for major overhauling. The paint blasting and repainting data should also be monitored. No hue and cry is created for the same at dry docking yards.
  • It may be noted that asbestos were used in all ships built before 1985. All ships built after 1985 may not contain asbestos, as it was banned in 1985. The presence of asbestos in ships coming for recycling is a temporary phenomenon. Therefore the issue of presence of asbestos in ships is transitory and minimal in nature. Alang is already recycling vessels built in 1981.
  • Apart from rare vessels with high asbestos content like steam turbine and passenger vessels, majority of vessels arriving at Alang for recycling contain only negligible quantity of Asbestos, ranging between 0.05 to 0.10 % of the total LDT of the vessel.


What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is the name of group highly fibrous minerals with separable, long and thin fibers. Separated Asbestos fibers are strong enough and flexible enough to be spun and woven. Asbestos fibers are heat resistant, making them useful for many industrial purposes. Because of their durability, Asbestos fibers that get into lung tissue will remain for long periods of time.

Asbestos has a long history. It was first used in Finland about 2500 BC to strengthen clay pots. In classical times, the indestructible shrouds in which the ashes of the eminent were preserved were woven from Asbestos. The word “Asbestos” comes from the Greek meaning “Inextinguishable” or “Indestructible”. Its use for lamp-wicks has continued through the ages up to the present day.

Asbestos exposure can occur in the workplace, particularly if you work or have worked as:-

  • Pipe or Steam Fitter
  • Plumber
  • Brake Repair Mechanic
  • Insulation Installer
  • Dry Wall Finisher
  • Carpenter
  • Roofer
  • Electrician
  • Welder
  • Miner
  • Shipyard Worker/ Ship building Workers/Ship recycling workers
  • Building Demolition Workers
  • Vermiculite/ Industrial Talc Workers

Asbestos in Ship recycling industry

  • Asbestos is mainly used in engine room as insulation on pipelines. The quantity of asbestos content in majority of vessels is very negligible, ranging between 0.05 to 0.10 % of the total LDT of the vessel.
  • Handling and storage of asbestos is carried out as per NIOH guidelines.
  • Wet stripping of pipes in separate asbestos handling area is strictly followed in all the plots, as wet processors do not generate fibre in the work environment.
  • All plots of the industry have workers trained specially for removal of asbestos who remove asbestos and solidify it by using cement poles for subsequent land filling. These cement poles are then sent to the TSDF site for land filling.
  • Such trained workers are medically examined on regular basis.