Maritime workers have some of the most difficult tasks in New York. There are many dangers these workers can face, including contact with unvented gases in enclosed spaces. It’s important to know how to stay safe.
What dangers do workers face working in enclosed spaces?
Doing a job on ships in enclosed spaces can be hazardous due to various factors. Often, there is a lack of oxygen in these areas on ships. The oxygen levels can become dangerously low, especially when it’s hot. In addition to a lack of oxygen, there is also a risk of fire.
Toxic vapors can make these areas even more dangerous. Workers can suffer from headaches, eye irritation and even lack of consciousness from inhaling the vapors. In the worst-case scenario, they can even die if the level of gases is high. In addition to toxic gases, there may be leaks that consist of hazardous materials.
Spaces on ships are often restricted for maritime workers. As a result, if a person becomes stuck, it can be difficult to rescue them. Additionally, the lighting is often poor on ships. Workers might suffer injuries if they can’t see potential threats near them. A slip and fall can occur and cause personal injury.
How can ship workers stay safer while working?
In order to keep workers safe, employers must carry out certain tasks. Per maritime law, there must be a risk assessment performed to evaluate any enclosed spaces that might lack sufficient oxygen. Using the right tools for preparing the area for workers to safely maneuver while doing their jobs is paramount. This can minimize the risks to workers and prevent accidents from happening.
Hazards should be detected and identified before workers enter the area. Particular concentration should be on any areas that are overly hot and could pose fire hazards. Risks can be minimized by emptying fuel or chemical tanks.
Confined areas should also be evaluated for the presence of hazardous gases and toxic materials. They should also be tested for potential hydrogen sulfide levels, which can pose health risks for workers. Spaces should be well-ventilated before workers enter them.
Keeping ship workers safe is key to preventing potential disasters. When the conditions are right, workers will not only remain safe but will also be more productive.