HANDLING AND STOWAGE OF HAZARD-
OUS MATERIALS. A hazardous material is
any substance or mixture of substances that could
result in the injury or death of a person. These
substances are divided into toxic, irritating,
flammable, pressurized, or sensitizing agents. The
hazardous material could also result in damage
to equipment or personnel through corrosion,
oxidation, pressurization, or heat-generation.
As you were climbing the advancement ladder,
your major concern about safety was your own
well-being. As a senior petty officer, you should
be concerned not only about your own safety but
also the safety of others. You should make sure
all personnel observe the following general
precautions when handling and stowing hazardous
Keep stowage compartments clean and
Provide adequate ventilation in the storage
Provide separate storage areas for
materials that would become dangerous if
mixed or combined.
Avoid stowing materials in direct sunlight
if the sun rays could cause a harmful or
an unstable effect to the material.
DO NOT allow unauthorized personnel in
the stowage area.
Make sure the precautionary label remains
intact after each use or when transferring
the material to another container.
Inventory the containers quarterly.
Inspect the containers for tightness of
cover seal, corrosion, leakage, improper
or inadequate labeling, and shelf life
NEVER allow open flames in the stowage
or handling area.
Monitor the stowage area for oxygen
depletion or toxic gas buildup (this check
must be accomplished by a gas-free
ALWAYS use electrical equipment that is
authorized for use in an explosive
SECURITY. Designated departmental supply
custodians are responsible for safeguarding the
material under their control; therefore, security
is always an important consideration. Storerooms
must be kept locked when not in use. The number
of people having direct access to a storeroom
should be kept to a minimum; otherwise, material
could disappear and the custodian would have no
record of its issuance. Control and responsibility
should be clear-cut; that is, clear-cut decisions on
the following questions should be made and
enforced within the responsible department:
Who is primarily responsible for keeping
the keys to each storeroom?
To whom are the keys given when the
custodian goes ashore?
Where may personnel on watch find the
keys (or duplicate keys) if a storeroom has
to be entered in case of emergency?
Who else, if anyone, should have direct
access to the storeroom?
PHYSICAL ARRANGEMENT. The physical
arrangement of storerooms depends on the
construction of the portions of the ship in which
the storerooms are located. Each stowage area
presents particular problems and should be
considered separately to ensure that the available
stowage space is used to full capacity.
Material should be segregated into arrange-
ments best suited for purposes of issue and
inventory, with special attention to placement of
fast-moving items for convenience of issue. When
repair parts are stowed in boxes, consideration
should be given to the departments planned
maintenance program. In most cases, material
should not be stowed in stock number sequence,
since national stock numbers assigned are
not necessarily related to item characteristics.
For maximum stowage life, stowage should be
planned so that the oldest material is issued
Small ships do not usually have suitable
stowage space. Material has to be stowed in small
spaces that are irregular in shape and size.
Orderliness may have to be sacrificed to put
materials in the spaces that best fit them. For
example, bulky items may have to be stowed in
inconvenient, out-of-the-way spaces because the
size of hatches and passageways prevents their
stowage with related items. However, do not
overload the bins at the expense of safety and