Day of the Seafarer 2024 – Seafarer Safety Tips

The International Maritime Organization’s theme for Day of the Seafarer 2024 is safety.

The SIU Canada has long been a strong advocate for safety at sea, and it is critical that all SIU Canada members take the necessary safety precautions while on the job. At the end of our time on board, we all want to go home safe and healthy to our families. That’s why it is important that you look out for your fellow crewmates on board and ensure that safety is always top of mind.

In celebration of Day of the Seafarer 2024, the SIU Canada wants to share 9 safety tips to keep you and your seafarer crewmates safe on the job.

Avoid distractions

Distractions can have disastrous effects on safety vigilance in any workplace. It is essential that no distractions impede your focus on safety duties or task at hand.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

The importance of PPE in maritime safety cannot be overstated. The marine environment presents challenges and dangers, such as slippery decks, moving machinery, toxic substances, and harsh weather conditions. PPE is essential for minimizing the risk of accidents and injuries, ensuring seafarers are shielded from the immediate risks in their daily operations.

Food safety

One of the most essential things that can help ensure the good health and well-being of everyone on board is safe and proper food handling. Food safety is critical to prevent food-related issues while on board ship.

Fit for duty

Seafarers have the responsibility to be fit for duty for the sake of their crewmates and the ship as a whole. Be sure to stay sober and physically healthy and learn all the essential skills relevant to your duties. Lack of training, fatigue, illness, and intoxication can increase the risk of more severe injuries.

Maintain situational awareness

Being aware of your surroundings is essential to maritime safety. Maintain good visibility and pay attention to equipment that is lifting or moving cargo. Report any problems, including mechanical breakdowns, electrical malfunctions, spills, or unsafe conditions, to the captain or safety officer immediately.

Handle hazardous materials with care

Ensure all hazardous materials are correctly labeled and stored in accordance with regulations. Use secondary containment systems and spill prevention measures to manage leaks or spills effectively. Maintain adequate ventilation in areas where hazardous materials are stored or used. Use appropriate PPE when handling hazardous substances to minimize exposure risks.

Fall prevention

Falls are a significant hazard in the maritime industry because workers are often at heights or near open edges. Always use appropriate fall protection measures such as safety harnesses, guardrails, and non-slip footwear when working. Regular inspections and maintenance of walkways, platforms, and ladders are vital to ensure their stability and integrity.

Look out for your crewmates

Brothers and Sisters of the SIU Canada should look out for the well-being of each other while on board their vessels. Hold your crewmates accountable to proper safety procedures to ensure the safety of all on board. Look out for one another and the vessel becomes a significantly safer work environment.

Inform SIU representatives

If an unsafe event or environment takes place on board your vessel, it is extremely important that you report it to your Union. Your Union exists to help you in these situations, and together, we can make work a safe and healthy environment. Report all incidents to an SIU Canada representative.

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