New Safety Fact Sheets for Maritime Workers

OSHA has released four new fact sheets on protecting workers from common hazards found in the shipyard and maritime industries.

The subjects covered are:

Pedestal crane safety,

Housekeeping safety,

Fire and rescue in shipyard employment, and

Safe baggage handling.

According to Marine Insight, the biggest problem faced by most of the shipyard workers is that they are mostly unaware about the laws and safety measures made to protect them. In terms of laws enabling them to seek suitable work conditions or the laws that allow them to seek compensation in case of serious injury or just basic information about exposure to hazardous substances like asbestos, the knowledge of these workers is low. This poses as the biggest problem for the workers as it prevents them from finding solutions to most of their other problems.

Also, shipyard workers involved in work of manufacturing of ships and even those not specifically into that particular aspect of shipyard jobs often receive extremely high exposure to asbestos, making them quite vulnerable to diseases caused by it. Asbestosis, along with mesothelioma which is a cancer caused exclusively by asbestos exposure are very serious diseases found mostly in workers working in close proximity to this substance. It is one of the biggest problems faced by workers working in the ship industry especially so since there is still no perfect solution to this problem.

One of the bigger problems with this particular aspect of the job is that the symptoms caused due to exposure to asbestos can surface even after many years. Reports of these symptoms showing up in a person up to 50 years after exposure to it have been found. This adds a whole new dimension to this problem making it much more serious.

The problems faced by every worker in shipyards are immense but their implications are even bigger. With correct measures, a lot of these problems can be tackled but there is still a long way to go.