46 CFR § 127.240 - Means of escape.

§ 127.240 Means of escape.

(a) Except as provided by paragraphs (l) and (m) of this section, there must be at least two means of escape, exclusive of windows and portholes, from each of the following spaces:

(1) Each space accessible to offshore workers.

(2) Crew accommodations and each space where the crew may normally be employed.

(b) At least one of the two means of escape must—

(1) Be independent of watertight doors in bulkheads required by part 174 of this chapter to be watertight; and

(2) Lead as directly to the open deck as practicable.

(c) The two means of escape required by paragraph (a) of this section must be widely separated and, if possible, at opposite ends or sides of the space, to minimize the possibility that one incident will block both escapes.

(d) Except as provided by paragraph (e) of this section, a vertical ladder ending at a deck scuttle may not be either of the means of escape required by paragraph (a) of this section.

(e) A vertical ladder ending at a deck scuttle may be the second means of escape if the—

(1) Primary means of escape is a stairway or passageway;

(2) Installation of another stairway or passageway is impracticable;

(3) Scuttle is located where stowed deck cargo could not interfere;

(4) Scuttle is fitted with a quick-acting release, and with a hold-back device to hold it open; and

(5) Scuttle meets the requirements for location, strength, and height of coaming in subchapter E of this chapter.

(f) Each vertical ladder must—

(1) Have rungs that are—

(i) At least 410 millimeters (16 inches) long;

(ii) At most 300 millimeters (12 inches) apart, uniform for the length of the ladder; and

(iii) At least 180 millimeters (7 inches) from the nearest permanent object in back of the ladder;

(2) Have at least 115 millimeters (4 1/2 inches) of clearance above each rung;

(3) Be made of incombustible materials; and

(4) Have an angle of inclination with the horizontal, greater than 70 degrees but not more than 90 degrees.

(g) No means may be provided for locking any interior door giving access to either of the two required means of escape, except that a crash door or locking-device, capable of being easily forced in an emergency, may be employed if a permanent and conspicuous notice to this effect is attached to both sides of the door. A means may be provided for locking an exterior door to a deckhouse if the door is—

(1) Locked only by a key under the control of one of the OSV's officers; and

(2) Always operable from the inside.

(h) Each passageway or stairway must be wide enough to provide an effective means of escape for the number of persons having access to it even if each person is wearing a lifejacket. There must be no protrusions in the means of escape that could cause injury, ensnare clothing, or damage lifejackets.

(i) No interior stairway, other than within the machinery spaces or cargo holds, may be less than 710 millimeters (28 inches) wide. The angle of inclination of each stairway with the horizontal must not exceed 50 degrees.

(j) No dead-end passageway, or equivalent, may be more than 13.1 meters (40 feet) in length.

(k) Vertical access must be provided between the various weather decks by means of vertical or permanently inclined ladders. The angles of inclination of the inclined ladders with the horizontal must not exceed 70 degrees, except that vertical ladders may be used for access to pilot-house tops and other house tops used only for weather protection.

(l) Only one means of escape need be provided from each of the spaces stipulated in paragraph (a) of this section, provided the maximum area of each space is less than 28 square meters (300 square feet) and the maximum dimension (length, breadth, or depth) of each space is less than 6 meters (20 feet).

(m) Alternative means of escape from spaces may be provided if acceptable to the cognizant OCMI.