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Ocean Safety - Emergency and security procedures at sea

Focussing on health and safety at sea is vital. With many more unique dangers arising in the ocean than might be found in ordinary land-based workspaces. External help is far less attainable, and sometimes too far. So having the skills and employing the precautionary measures, may prove to be lifesaving.

Those working at sea must follow very specific guidelines. Ensuring the safety of all equipment, the ableness and qualifications of all workers, and the suitability and implementation of emergency and security procedures. Companies operating at sea need to make sure they carry out appropriate risk assessments. That they have the correct safety equipment and protective gear (including relevant first aid apparatus), and that they offer suitable health and safety training to all those on board.

Assessing and mitigating risks

The risks posed on the ocean can be very different to those posed on dry land. Specific assessments need to be carried out to highlight potential hazards. Steps then need to be taken to adequately reduce the risks they pose. Such assessments need to be regularly reviewed; reassessed every year and also any time a process changes on board.

Safety signs need to be placed on board all ships, displaying escape routes and clarifying and highlighting any dangers that may be presented. A ‘permit to work’ system may also have to be put in place. Ensuring that only those with authorisation to do so can carry out dangerous tasks on board.

Protecting staff and passengers

Not only do those on board need to be protected from potential hazards. They also need to be given suitable clothing or equipment when carrying out specific tasks. Sometimes, risks can only be mitigated to a certain level and in such circumstances those needing to carry out certain activities or tasks will need to be furnished with safety gear that is fit for purpose, of a suitable size and quality and easily accessible.

Ocean First aid

However, protection should not only be proactive, but also reactive. While safety clothing, equipment and focussed measures such as harnesses, guardrails and non-slip surfaces will help reduce the chances of accidents occurring, incidents can still happen. If the nearest hospital is thousands of miles away, individuals may well need emergency treatment there and then.

The first aid supplies and equipment on hand need to reflect this vulnerability. Instead of just sourcing plasters and medicines, vessels may also need to have on hand the likes of defibrillators, infection control gear and an array of other emergency supplies to treat individuals should they become injured or ill.

What may be a small problem on land when help is just around the corner can easily become a major problem when at sea. Those who want to protect their crew or passengers in the most suitable and focussed way. Having a full range of emergency supplies will be vital.

Health and safety precautions will do the bulk of the work for companies whose operations take place predominantly offshore. But, if accidents do happen, it is vital that those at sea have the right skills and access to the tools they need to deal with such incidents accordingly.

Take a look through our range of infection control products and help to prevent viruses on board cruise ships.