RECOMMENDATION ON STRENGTH OF "B" CLASS BULKHEADS TO WHICH HANDRAILS ARE ATTACHED ON RO-RO PASSENGER SHIPS
1 Regulation II-2/28-1.1.2 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention, as amended, requires ro-ro passenger ships to be fitted with handrails in escape routes which will support 750 N/m distributed load, in both the horizontal and downward directions. Handrails attached to "B" class panels should have the strength to support such a loading.
2 To avoid the possibility of under strength panels being installed, the type approval process for a "B" class panels to which handrails are attached should include a suitable structural test. However, lining, panels, i.e. those which are supported at half height from an adjacent bulkhead and having suitable internal strength arrangements to the ship or deckhouse construction, need not satisfy the strength requirement.
3 For panels, which already have type approval, a strength test should be a requirement when the certificate is due for renewal.
4 The strength test for "B" class panels is shown in the appendix. In order for manufacturers to obtain type approval, the test procedure should be properly conducted, recorded and independently witnessed.