Surveyors are called on to ensure the correct preparation of hatches with regard to cleanliness, either on their own or in conjunction with other statutory bodies to ensure the space is dry, odour free and suitable for the stowage of the cargo.
Cleanliness takes into account the residues of previous cargoes hidden behind pipe casings and on various edges in a hold, loose rust and scale, the painted or unpainted condition of the compartment, dirt and other foreign matter. The general condition of the fixtures and fittings are noted and recommendations made where they must be fixed prior to loading.
Surveyors are further involved in the manner of stowage, dunnaging, methods of handling a particular cargo and its final securing after loading. They may also be required to issue a certificate stating that the hold is clean and ready for loading or the cargo has been loaded, stowed and secured in a safe and approved manner.
Refrigerated and bulk cargoes require special attention and both may require the inspection of the hatch covers to ensure they are watertight and seal correctly.
If the surveyor is involved in the loading they may also have to consider the compatibility of the various commodities being loaded or check the stability calculations to ensure that the vessel remains within the stability criteria for its loaded condition.
For discharging vessels, a surveyor will attend prior to commencement to see the initial condition of cargo in-stow and further attend as the discharging progresses, noting the condition, stowage and securing and the reason for any damage.