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Ship injury: What can I do to protect myself?

Working on a ship can be exciting and provide you with a good living to support your family in New York, but these vessels can also present several injury risks. The good news is that you can take steps to protect yourself.

According to the Professional Mariner, one of the things you can do is check your documentation relating to the task and safety instructions. This documentation, often called the job safety analysis, should be specific in spelling out what it is you are supposed to do. If your job is to inspect a certain area of the ship, the JSA should tell you what to look out for, such as cracks, leaks or exposed wiring, and identify the part or area by its proper name. The JSA should also be updated to reflect any changes made since the last version, as well as the most efficient and correct procedure to follow.

A properly filled out work permit can also mitigate your risk of getting hurt on board. Whether your supervisor is putting this together or you are the one drafting it, you need to make sure that all of the following considerations have been evaluated:

  •          Forecasted and current weather conditions
  •          Pre-job planning level
  •          Other planned jobs that would be influenced by or affect the job
  •          Potential energy source isolations
  •          Environmental factors such as extreme heat in the work site or a small space in which to work
  •          Critical systems that could be affected by the work

Additionally, it is important that your supervisor look at your experience and skills to ensure that you have the know-how to perform the job task correctly. If there is someone more qualified, it may be better for that person to be assigned the job or for you to receive additional training. 

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