According to recently published statistics, 90 percent of crew members who fall off ships do so in calm weather when there’s a chop of less than one foot. Alcohol consumption, inattentiveness and general horseplay are often to blame.
Entering small spaces without first properly ventilating the area or wearing masks can put crews at risk of serious illness or even death.
Sometimes the miles of wires on ships become exposed, putting unsuspecting crew members at risk for electrocution or severe shocks. That’s why it’s important to have a planned maintenance system, where electrical equipment is inspected regularly.
Winches and ropes are inherently dangerous. It only takes a second for clothing to become tangled. Even though the journey is nearly over, it’s important for the deck crew to remain vigilant throughout the operation to avoid a major accident.
Crankcases that are not properly maintained are prone to explosion, which not only wastes time and money in repairs, but also puts crew members at risk. Again, a planned maintenance system can reduce the risk of explosions aboard ships.
Being hoisted high above the ship’s deck to perform repairs is one of the most dangerous tasks a crew member is asked to do. Luckily, nearly all falls are preventable if proper safety procedures are followed and if harnesses are kept in proper working order.
Pirate attacks have been kept in check in recent months by an increased U.S. Navy presence around the Horn of Africa. Nonetheless, every ship should have procedures in place for responding to attacks.
It sounds paradoxical, but taking steps to test equipment designed to save a crew can actually cost a crew member his or her life. A surprising number of accidents occur during the process of testing lifeboats.
Hot work incidents
Ships are hotspots for gases, oils and other explosive materials. So when a crew member is performing hot works repairs, he or she is at risk for burns, toxic fume inhalation or even death due to explosions. Whenever someone is working with flammable materials, it’s imperative that proper safety procedures be followed.