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11 Steps that Ensure Occupational Safety and Health in a Shipyard

Safety in ship yard is a very important aspect of the entire job profile of a shipyard worker. The conditions these workers work in are often dangerous with a potential to prove fatal if care is not taken. Ensuring safety of workers on a shipyard is a responsibility of all the people working there.

Few things that can help ensuring occupational safety and health of a shipyard are as follows:

1. Proper Training of Workers – Ignorance Leads to Accidents

No one is more responsible for safety in ship yard than the workers themselves. But this does not mean there can’t be accidents. They are humans and they can make mistakes too. However, being trained in handling the equipment properly can drastically reduce the number of these accidents, make shipyards lot safer places to work in.

All workers should be taught how to use the machinery available on the shipyard.

2. Specialized personnel – Let Experts Guide Others

Many works on a ship yard are highly technical. Such tasks are best handled by workers who have been trained explicitly to do so. Such workers are much more efficient at handling heavy equipment and understanding the technicalities of machinery.

This helps in preventing a lot of accidents, contributing greatly to occupational safety and health of ship yard.

3. Safety Measures– Safety Comes First

Safety measures and precautionary steps should be taken to ensure shipyard safety. Protecting structures like railings, platforms and mid rails along with other shipyard safety measures should be ensured around the working space of workers.

This helps the workers to a great extent and can prevent a minor accident from turning into something much more serious.

4. Awareness of the Workers – It’s Starts Within

In many cases, ignorance on part of the workers themselves leads to severe cases. Workers who might be unaware about handling equipment or about the safety norms of deck are more likely to run into an accident than those who do. Hence, it is important that workers are regularly briefed about these aspects so that the working place can become lot safer for them and for others.

Moreover, the workers themselves should show interest in increasing the safety level of the shipyard.

5. Clearing Work Space – Unclutter the Work Place

Workers on a shipyard work on everything from a cramped space to platforms above the ocean. With workspaces as extreme as these, there is no room for error and definitely not for things out of place. Leaving things unattended around a shipyard is inviting trouble. In order to maintain safety in shipyard, it should be ensured that workers clear their working space first. There should be no unwanted material like tools, ropes, planks, paint tins etc lying around. Anything that a person can trip on is like a danger sign. Make sure they are out of the way.

6. Team Effort and Cooperation

Workers are the ones who spend the most time on a shipyard. In case of an accident, before proper help arrives, it is fellow workers who reach the victim. Hence, it is their responsibility to a great extent to look after a person who has been hurt until proper help can be given to him.

Safety of workers depends up to a large extent on the entire working environment. Workers should work together, as a single unit. Believe it or not, this minor care towards proper efficiency of work can make immense difference in shipyard safety. From getting a job done to helping each other during an emergency, team effort plays an important role in a shipyard.

7. Separate Shipyard Safety Training Sessions

This is one of the most important factor for ensuring occupational safety and health on a shipyard. Workers and every other person of entire shipyard personnel must be well aware about various aspects of measures that can be taken to maintain safety in ship yard. This kind of shipyard safety training should be given to every worker on the shipyard before they start working. This training includes various aspects of entire process to ensure shipyard safety right from the legally mandatory factors to tips for emergencies. Also, First Aid Training in a Must for everyone working in a shipyard.

8. Protective Gear –Never Avoid Them

Proper protective gear must always be worn by workers at all times. In most cases, this helps in preventing an accident to a great extent or can help in keeping the degree of severity of accident to the minimum levels.

Protective gears like goggles, gloves, floatation devices when working over water, full body harnesses when working at high levels are some of the protective gears that must be made available to workers at all times.

9. Legal Awareness – Educate oneself

Knowing about the standards set by the government exclusively to maintain safety of workers working on shipyards help the employers to forwards much safer working conditions to their workers. Standards such as one stating that any platform above height of five feet must be provided with suitable guardrails for safety of workers on working on it help in ensuring maximum safety that can be offered under such dangerous working conditions.Workers should also be aware of the minimum number of rest hours mentioned by the maritime law.

10. Communication – Communication Gap Can Lead to Great Danger

In end, nothing promotes occupational safety and health of shipyard better than communication between workers and authorities.

Two way communication to extend knowledge about various aspects and to discuss about problems being faced by workers helps in making sure that no information is being missed out on.

11. Listen to Seniors and Experts

Seniors and experts are placed in the shipyards for some reason. They have the experience and skills. Workers should listen to their advice and learn from them. This would go a long way in ensuring overall safety of the shipyard.

Working on shipyards is dangerous as such. But with few simple steps, the maximum safety that can be allowed under such circumstances can be ensured.