Offshore workers have significantly more workplace risk than those who work in land-based professions. Not only do their jobs often involve the use of heavy machinery and possibly dangerous chemicals, but the location where they perform their job creates a constant source of injury risk. All it takes is an unexpected storm or a few mistakes by a coworker for someone to wind up in the water, which is dangerous all on its own.
Maritime workers do generally receive more competitive pay because of the risk they except as part of their employment. However, protecting yourself from injury should always be your first priority at work. How can Maritime workers improve their own safety on the job?
Maintain your situational awareness
Heavy moving equipment can come loose in a moment and knock someone off of a vessel or an oil platform. Although there are many possible distractions for modern maritime workers, including digital technology, you should always keep a focus on your environment when you are at work.
Know your rights, including the right to stop work
Your employer cannot force you to do something that is unnecessarily dangerous. They should take care to comply with all safety regulations and to give all of the workers the training and equipment they need to do their jobs safely.
When issues with the job site, you have the right to stop work for your protection even if your employer might lose money because of the temporary stop. Making use of your stop work authority could save your life or someone else’s.
Keep your head clear while you are at work
Continuing to work after an exceptionally long shift when you feel groggy could be very dangerous. So could going to work immediately after you wake up when you have that brain fog sensation that professionals refer to as sleep inertia. Every choice you make at work will be safety-critical, so the only real way to protect yourself involves ensuring you are operating at full capacity whenever you are on the clock.
Always wear your safety gear
From personal flotation devices to anti-fall gear, there may be numerous forms of equipment that can keep you safer at work. Even if it increases your prep time before your shift or slows you down a bit at work, using that safety gear consistently will be crucial to your protection on the job.
Avoid working alone when possible
One of the most dangerous things that can happen in the maritime environment is for you to hit your head or go overboard when no one knows. Working with someone else at all times will help protect you. If you cannot have someone physically present with you, maintaining constant contact with communication technology could help others know if something goes wrong for you while working.