Safety of self and co-workers is the prime priority kept in mind by a professional seafarer while working onboard ship. All shipping companies ensure that their crew follow personal safety procedures and rules for all the operation carried onboard ships.
To achieve utmost safety on board ship, the basic step is to make sure that everybody wears their personal protective equipments made for different types of jobs carried out on ship.
Following are the basic personal protective equipments (ppe) that are always present onboard a ship to ensure safety of the working crew:
1) Protective Clothing: Protective clothing is a coverall which protects the body of the crew member from hazardous substance like hot oil, water, welding spark etc. It is popularly known as “dangri “or “boiler suit”.
2) Helmet: The most important part of the human body is the head. It needs utmost protection which is provided by a hard plastic helmet on the ship. A chin strap is also provided with the helmet which keeps the helmet on place when there is a trip or fall.
3) Safety Shoes: Maximum of the internal space of the ship is utilized by cargo and machinery, which is made of hard metal and which make it clumsy for crew to walk around. Safety shoes ensure that nothing happens to the crew member’s feet while working or walking onboard.
4) Safety Hand gloves: Different types of hand gloves are provided onboard ship. All these are used in operations wherein it becomes imperative to protect ones hands. Some of the gloves provided are heat resistant gloves to work on hot surface, cotton gloves for normal operation, welding gloves, chemical gloves etc.
5) Goggles: Eyes are the most sensitive part of the human body and in daily operations on ship chances are very high for having an eye injury. Protective glass or goggles are used for eye protection, whereas welding goggles are used for welding operation which protects the eyes from high intensity spark.
6) Ear Muff/plug: Engine room of the ship produces 110-120 db of sound which is very high for human ears. Even few minutes of exposure can lead to head ache, irritation and sometimes partial or full hearing loss. An ear muff or ear plug is used on board ship which dampens the noise to a bearable decibel value.
7) Safety harness: Routine ship operation includes maintenance and painting of high and elevated surfaces which require crew members to reach areas that are not easily accessible. To avoid a fall from such heightened area, safety harness is used. Safety harness is donned by the operator at one end and tied at a strong point on the other end.
8) Face mask: Working on insulation surface, painting or carbon cleaning involves minor hazardous particles which are harmful for human body if inhaled directly. To avoid this, face mask are provided which acts as shield from hazardous particle.
9) Chemical suit: Use of chemicals onboard ship is very frequent and some chemicals are very dangerous when they come in direct contact with human skin. A chemical suit is worn to avoid such situations.
10) Welding shield: Welding is a very common operation onboard ship for structural repairs. A welder is provided with welding shield or mask which protects the eyes from coming in direct contact with ultraviolet rays of the spark of the weld.