Safety is more than a priority in the maritime industry

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Commercial Seamen |

When you work in the maritime industry, you understand that safety is not just a priority but a necessity. A necessity refers to something essential and unavoidable. It is a requirement that must be met no matter what. On the other hand, a priority is something you regard as more important than another. It is a preference or something given precedence in importance or urgency. Priorities can change based on circumstances, whereas necessities are typically constant.

Maritime workers face unique risks associated with working on or near the water every day. Employers have a responsibility to keep their employees and the maritime environment safe. They must treat the welfare of their employees as a necessity. But how do you maintain a culture of safety that is both effective and practical? Start by focusing on best practices that everyone can adopt.

Maritime injury prevention for Oakland employers and employees

You cannot underestimate the power of proper training. As an employer, you must provide your team with the training and equipment they need to ensure their safety at sea. Employees should take the initiative to learn and apply these practices, but they can only do that if their employer provides adequate and effective training. Here are some training areas employers should focus on:

  • Emergency response drills: Regularly run through scenarios like man-overboard, fire outbreaks and vessel evacuation to ensure everyone knows their role in an emergency.
  • Equipment handling: Properly train employees on the use of all equipment, especially machinery that is more prone to causing injury if mishandled.
  • First aid and CPR: Equip your team with the skills to handle medical emergencies until professional help arrives.
  • Protective equipment usage: Provide employees with protective gear and train them on when and how to use it.

Apart from training, routine maintenance is a necessary part of injury prevention. You can avoid many accidents just by routine maintenance. The employer should designate competent persons to ensure the vessel and equipment are safe and seaworthy. Here is what they need to keep in check:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE): Regularly inspect gear like helmets, gloves and life jackets for wear and tear.
  • Vessels and equipment: Follow a strict maintenance schedule to ensure all machinery and vessels are in top working condition, covering everything from cranes to small hand tools.

Safety is a team effort, but it begins with the preventive measures the employer implements and the culture the employer promotes. Employee safety should be more than a priority, especially in the maritime industry.