1918.31 Hatch coverings.§ 1918.31 Hatch coverings.
(a) No cargo, dunnage, or other material shall be loaded or unloaded by means requiring the services of employees at any partially opened intermediate deck unless either the hatch at that deck is sufficiently covered or an adequate landing area suitable for the prevailing conditions exists. In no event shall such work be done unless the working area available for such employees extends for a distance of 10 feet (3.05 m) or more fore and aft and athwartships.
(b) Cargo shall not be landed on or handled over a covered hatch or 'tween-decks unless all hatch beams are in place under the hatch covers.
(c) Missing, broken, or poorly fitting hatch covers that would not protect employees shall be reported at once to the officer in charge of the vessel. Pending replacement or repairs by the vessel, work shall not be performed in the section containing the unsafe covers or in adjacent sections unless the flooring is made safe.
(d) Hatch covers and hatch beams not of uniform size shall be placed only in the hatch, deck, and section in which they fit properly.
(e) Small trimming hatches in intermediate decks shall be securely covered or guarded while work is going on in the hatch in which they are found, unless they are actually in use.