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188.8.131.52 SAFE WORKING PRACTICES AT ALL TIMES
Proper and safe working practices and procedures should be employed at all times. Accident prevention schemes and codes of safe working practices as well as the procedures under the vessel’s SMS must be followed at all times.A. Safe work planning and supervision
B. Safe working during cargo, lashing and securing operations
For further details please refer to Gard Loss Prevention Circular No. 03-04: Accidents involving crew and stevedores during cargo operations.
During cargo operations, particular attention is required to prevent endangering the crew or others when they are entering the working area.
Upon completion of loading or before discharging containers, safe working practices must be employed in lashing and unlashing the containers to prevent slips and falls on slippery container surfaces. Lashing frames and lashing platforms should be used where available, to avoid having to climb onto the top of containers. The Master and his/her officers should not permit any person to be transported on top of a container or any other cargo during lifting operations as this may lead to severe and even fatal personal injuries.
Unlashing must not be undertaken whilst the vessel is still underway, to prevent crew involved in these tasks falling overboard. Lashing operations must be completed prior to leaving the berth.
Lifting operations are dangerous in themselves as slings may part, brakes fail or the lifted object may come into contact with other structures causing it to slip out of the slings. Safe working practices must include preventing people from standing directly underneath or near to such lifting operations if not operationally required.
Prior to working with cranes, it should be established that these are in proper working and serviceable condition. The limit switches must be operable, so that stevedores cannot override the same without written permission. The limit switch keys should be held by the responsible officer at all times and should not be handed over to stevedores.
The visibility of the crane driver may be restricted during crane operations. In such cases, the Master and his/her officers should ensure that a signal man is posted with proper communication to the crane driver.
On ro-ro vessels simple communication procedures should be established between the drivers and the crew or personnel directing the drivers. These must be strictly followed.The operation of ramps on ro-ro vessels can pose considerable hazards to crew and other personnel. This needs to be identified and protective measures taken before the start of operations to prevent severe personal injuries or even deaths occurring. When operating ramps
D. Safe working during drills and training
Safe working practices must be followed during training and drills, such as launching lifeboats and man overboard boats/rescue boats if these are carried out.
Inflatable life rafts are subject to an annual inspection by an external service firm. The Master and his/her officers should ensure that the life rafts and the hydrostatic release mechanisms are correctly installed, enabling the rafts to be easily launched by the crew in an emergency or launched automatically if the vessels sinks and the raft becomes submerged.
The Master should bear in mind that only a well trained crew, fully familiar with the release mechanisms, can safely and properly operate the lifeboat release systems.
At no time during training and drills should the personal safety of any crew member be endangered. If such a situation arises, the training or drill must be aborted! The reason for abortion or waiver of the actual launch of the life boat need to be recorded in the vessel’s log book to avoid the next port State control officer complaining of lack of training and drills.
New SOLAS regulations for the inspection and maintenance of “on-load-release” gear came into force on 1 July 2006, requiring, among other things, an annual inspection and test of such hooks by a representative of the manufacturer. It is imperative that these inspections are carried out by fully competent and authorised personnel, to limit future risks of further accidents with “on-load-release” hooks.
E. Safe working in unlit or dark stores, holds and rooms
Safe working practices include sufficient lighting in enclosed workplaces to prevent accidents with machinery or tools, or falls or slips causing personal injury or even death. Crew members entering enclosed spaces from outside should allow some time for their eyes to adjust to the changing light conditions.
Where appropriate, a full permit-to-work procedure should be followed for entry into enclosed spaces. Please see section 184.108.40.206 Entry into enclosed spaces.
F. No smoking policy
For further details please see Gard Loss Prevention Circular 05-00: Fire in the Hold Smoking Policies Onboard Ship.
Smoking should only be allowed in designated smoking areas.Safe working practices include a strictly followed “onboard smoking policy”. There should be a policy of no smoking
“No smoking signs” should be large, legible and clearly visible.