Questions from the fleet

Questions from the fleet

Editor’s Note: Following are fleet questions e-mailed to the Naval Safety Center’s Afloat Directorate, with each question followed by our response. Individuals who requested the information have received responses, and Fathom is publishing the questions and responses for other fleet units who might be searching for similar information. Send afloat questions to:

What, if anything, is authorized to be stowed in fan rooms and voids? I’ve told my department heads, “Nothing,” or–minimally–nothing flammable. They want to see something in writing.

I do have a 1995 edition of COMNAVSURFPAC 5100.7C, Electrical Safety and Tool Control Issue Program for Forces Afloat, but would like something more current.

We suggest you review GSO 670, General Specifications for Overhaul of Surface Ships (2000 edition). In that publication, Section 070 addresses the stowage of special metals such as magnesium and magnesium alloy, and how to stow gear without it being damaged under maximum conditions of roll, pitch, list, and trim.

Section 604 deals with lock and key requirements for storerooms.

Simply stated, though, fan rooms are not to have anything except ventilation filters stowed in them. As for voids–and uptakes absolutely nothing is to be stowed in them.

As an engineer and the leading petty officer responsible for departmental and damage control division training, I would like to obtain the training video that discusses the USS Forrestal (CVA 59) fire.

You’re looking for the video “Trial by Fire.” It is available on VHS cassette and, along with other videos, can be purchased through the web site: Once you get on the site, go to the search engine and type in damage control, and once in the DC section you’ll see a list of available movies. Just scroll to the one you want and follow the prompts.

OPNAVINST 5100.19D dictates that compressed air is not to be used for shipboard housekeeping. Aboard my ship, LP air is being used to clean the flight deck. Can you give me guidance?

Refer to paragraph C1302a(11) of OPNAVINST 5100.19D, and NSTM 631- also gives guidance. The answer to your question is that LP air should not be used to blow down the flight deck or any other area aboard ship. Compressed air should not be used to blow down overheads or personal clothing, and should not be used for general cleanup such as that being done on the flight deck. However, if compressed air must be used, its pressure is not to exceed 30 PSIG and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is to be worn. The reason you shouldn’t use air to blow down areas on the ship is that what you think you are removing is, in reality, only becoming airborne, and it will re-settle onto horizontal surfaces once you complete the blow-down.

Aboard our CVN, my coworkers and I are disagreeing over the correct number of “rubber ducky” abandon-ship life vests to be stocked on board. I say we should have an inventory that is 105 percent of the ship’s manning document. Some shipmates say available MK 1 life vests can be factored into the final tally.

You are correct in that the number of rubber duckies a CVN should have is to be equal to 105 percent of the ship’s manning document. Other flotation devices or aids cannot be factored in. APL 2-33001413 of July 29, 2002 clearly states this. NSTM 077, Personnel Protection Equipment, paragraph 2.4.2 also dictates that the inflatable abandon ship life preserver is to be worn when abandoning ship because it enables crewmembers to swim under flames.

I have been asked several times for an APL for the flammable liquids and hazardous material stowage lockers we have aboard my ship. Can you tell me where I can get this information?

Determine who manufactured your locker and then contact that company via the addresses given below:

For Justrite lockers, call (800) 798-9250, or e-mail

For Protectoseal lockers, the telephone number is (630) 595-0800, or email

For Delta lockers, call (208) 529-8545, or e-mail

Which half-face respirator is preferred for shipboard use?

The type of respirator required depends on several factors, including the hazards associated with the work and how well the respirator fits its user. There is no “one size fits all.” To comply with OPNAVINST 5100.19D, Chapter B8, your shipboard respiratory manager must have at least two different manufacturers’ respirators. Also read Chapter 6 of the instruction for more respiratory management and use requirements. Check your ship’s industrial hygiene survey for more information. Meanwhile, two other web sites you might find helpful are those for the Navy’s Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit 5 and the Navy Occupational Safety and Health and Environmental Training Center. They are:

Is it required to paint a yellow square under an eyewash station?

The simple answer is, “No.” However, OPNAV-INST 5100.19D does state, “Clearly mark eyewash stations with a green sign with white lettering stating, ‘EMERGENCY EYEWASH STATION.'”

These signs can be ordered through the Navy supply system using Navy stock number 9905-01-345-4521. The sign are to be posted in a visible location close to the eyewash unit.

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