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Safety Trends in the Maritime Industry

The maritime industry is a dangerous field. Whether workers are building ships or fishing out on the ocean, these jobs present a range of hazards that are unique to life in this industry. That's why there are over 2,600 maritime work injuries in the USA every year.

But the maritime industry is a changing place. New attitudes and developing technologies can be used to keep workers safer. It's important to know about how things are changing if you work in this field.

Want to learn more about the current safety trends in the industry? Read on to find out more about the latest developments in the industry.

Increasing Use of Technology

Much like other fields, the maritime industry is taking advantage of new technology. New developments in the tech world can help workers stay safe in a variety of ways.

This doesn't have to be anything particularly complicated. A manager could help a shipyard to be safer simply by using scheduling software, and ensuring enough supervisors are present throughout the working day.

Communication technology is vital to keeping workers safe. When managers, foremen, and other supervisory staff keep in constant contact, it allows the shipyard to function like a well-oiled machine. This reduces the risk of human error.

More complex technology is increasingly being used in maritime environments. Sensors can alert workers when a piece of machinery is about to fail, allowing them to remove themselves from the area and get away from a potential hazard.

Protective Equipment

Workers in the maritime industry are commonly wearing more personal protective equipment than in previous years. From warmer, more durable protective gear to eye protection, this equipment can help maritime workers avoid unnecessary injuries.

New minimum standards for protective equipment are helping to keep workers safer. A little added expense for workplace owners can translate to much higher safety standards for workers.

Cold Weather Protection

Maritime workers are commonly exposed to extremely low temperatures. Working in or around water can be very cold, but these temperatures don't just cause simple discomfort. They also present a serious health hazard.

Working for prolonged periods in low temperatures can increase the risk of illness. In severe cases, it could even cause conditions like hypothermia and frostbite.

New safety protocols help to deal with these issues in several ways. First off, managers should try to avoid workers having to face extremely cold temperatures. Jobs could be scheduled at the warmest time of the day, reducing the severity of the temperatures workers have to face.

If cold weather workers have to be exposed to extremely low temperatures, they ought to have the right protective equipment. They need proper boots, headgear, and bodywear. This gear should be examined regularly to ensure it is in good condition.

Management should take measures to reduce the time workers spend in extreme cold. This could be achieved through the use of shift work, or assigning extra workers to make the job run quicker.

Finally, workers showing symptoms of sickness after working in extremely low temperatures should be offered immediate medical treatment. Quick treatment can help to address many common sicknesses caused by cold temperatures.

Extra Safety Measures for Hulls and Machinery

Ship hulls and machinery are believed to cause around half of injuries in the maritime industry. These extremely tough and heavy ship parts can cause all kinds of hazards.

That's why many shipyards have dedicated safety protocols around these issues. They may assign more supervision or a larger number of workers to help the job go more quickly and smoothly.

Stress Protection

Mental ailments can be just as serious as physical concerns. An increasing understanding of mental health issues in recent years has translated into the workplace.

Stress can cause a lack of caution in the workplace. It may reduce the amount of sleep workers are getting or cause them to feel distracted while working. In turn, this may cause actions, leading to further stress and beginning the negative cycle again!

Management should now have an appreciation of the damage stress can cause. And they should provide treatment and mitigation for workplace stress.

This could come in the form of extra attention from human resources, like mediation or referrals for counseling. Or workers may be given extra leave so they can reduce their stress levels.

Monitoring is important, too. It is becoming common for management to regularly check in on employees, or to operate an open-door policy. Allowing employees to be more open about their feelings can be tough in a traditionally masculine environment like a shipyard, but achieving a more open attitude can heavily reduce stress.

Increased Caution Around Hazardous Substances

The maritime industry deals with all kinds of hazardous substances. This could include:

In days gone by, shipyards and other maritime environments sometimes didn't give these substances the attention they deserved. Now, there are dedicated safety protocols for working around these substances. Workers should spend as little time as possible around these substances.

Get the Maritime Safety Training You Need

Maritime safety is always evolving. If you want to keep up with the constant developments in the maritime industry, you need to ensure you are educated on the latest trends. Luckily, you can study online for a qualification in this area.

We offer an Occupational Health Safety Administration course for those working in shipyards and other maritime environments. This will help you to meet OSHA compliance, keep your workplace safe and gain the necessary skills to excel in your field. Click here to learn more about our maritime compliance course.



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