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Workplace Safety For Shipyard Workers

July 30, 2021
June 21, 2023
 harbor master in command on the terminal port

Dangerous workplaces with life-threatening risks are regulated by laws that safeguard and minimize the potential risks to workers. One such workplace is a shipyard, where ships are built and repaired. Shipyard-specific safety training is crucial for all personnel who will be working in or passing through shipyards, such as contractors, ship’s crew and subcontractors present at the site.

Shipyard hazards include being exposed to dangerous operations like welding, abrasive blasting, pipefitting, electrical work, rigging, coating applications, etc. The dangers are magnified because most of the work is done on crowded decks out in the open, below deck, and in enclosed spaces.

This article talks about the safety measures that must be taken to ensure the workers’ protection.  

The Dangers of Working in a Shipyard

Working conditions in a shipyard are dangerous. Serious injury is a possibility as these places can be very cramped, and the nature of work is quite hazardous at times. The timings of the work are not fixed, and they often have an erratic schedule that adds to the burden of the workers.

Moreover, the machinery used is mostly huge and requires special strength and skill. Due to the working environments, slipping and falling are common and there have been serious cases reported that have sometimes also led to death.

Fires, explosions, electric shocks, cramped spaces because of high pressure, asbestosis, and mesothelioma are very common in this industry. Coupled with a lack of knowledge of these hazards, their implications can be deadly and so, shipyard safety needs to be taken seriously.

Shipyard Safety Procedures

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Temporary Workers Initiative outlines the requirements that have to be met in this industry. Since shipyard workers are often employed temporarily this initiative helps ensure that host employers and staffing agencies prioritize their workers' safety.

OSHA’s Act of 1970 ensures that all workers (including temporary ones) have their health and safety safeguarded by this law. It includes what the employer’s duty is about the worker’s safety, training, dealing with, and reporting the injury or illness caused during employment. These include joint responsibilities between the host employer and the staffing agency. They must conduct thorough hazard assessments, medical screening, and surveillance, as well as incident investigations.

In case it seems like your staff is unequipped to deal with the protection measures, then you can also hire experts such as Work-Fit. More on that later.

Shipyard Safety Tips

Proper Training – Eliminate Ignorance

The workers themselves need to be in charge of their safety, but it is the responsibility of the employers to provide them with proper workplace training. Training should be provided for handling equipment, recognizing hazards and accident prevention tips.

Shipyard safety training should be made compulsory before they start work. These should not only include the processes but also legal factors as well as emergency tips.

Safety Procedures

Certain measures need to be taken to make the shipyard a less dangerous environment. This includes installing railings, mid-rails, and platforms that minimize minor accidents that could potentially be more serious.

Cleaning the Shipyard

Since shipyards can be very cramped at times, things should be very properly organized and maintained. Dumping things randomly should be a big no and leaving objects unattended invites accidents and other hazards. Unnecessary materials should not be left around as there is a chance for anyone to trip or slip. The area should be decluttered at all times.

Protective Gear

Proper Protective gear (PPE) should be worn by workers to prevent accidents and reduce the risk of injury. These include gloves, full-body harnesses, goggles, floatation devices, and more – depending on the type of work.

Team Effort and Communication

In case there has been an accident and before help has arrived, fellow workers must be responsible to provide help. The safety of one worker is dependent on the rest and thus, training should be given not only at an individual level but as a team. This can make a lot of difference for shipyard safety.

Keep Your Shipyard Ship-Shape With Work-Fit

If you feel like you will not be able to provide adequate training and safety protocols to your shipyard workers, then there are experts to help you. Specialists at Work-Fit are well-versed in injury prevention and the overall safety of workers.

We provide many services both on-site and via telehealth that follow proper OSHA guidelines. We have an injury prevention program, a wellness management program, injury management, and ergonomics programs.

Contact Work-Fit to hire a specialist for your shipyard safety management!


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