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Working-at-Heights

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A terrible fall overboard; a mooring accident that costs a life; a trip and fall down an elevator shaft; a drop to the bottom of a ballast tank; the extreme dangers of working aloft and overside cannot be underestimated. Aboard a working vessel, even a fall of a few feet can be life-threatening. Hard metal surfaces and giant pieces of moving equipment are unforgiving and potentially lethal. We do Toolbox Talk, as per JHA. In this program, we'll address the necessary preparation and procedures to identify fall hazards and manage the risks of these effectively. This is to keep you and your shipmates safe. We'll begin with proper evaluation of the work to be done and definitions of terms; a review of the permit to work and job hazard analysis procedures; the need for a rescue plan; and introduction of proper equipment and preparation of the work site. We'll also get hands-on instruction and tips from working seafarers and industry safety experts. Three, two, one. This is what we use to educate the public. We show them how to use fall protection, the proper ways to do it. Sometimes we have people that don't believe that a body falling less than six feet can generate a tremendous amount of force, so seeing it first-hand allows them to see what happens during a fall. They get to experience that. Not only that, it's real life. When this weight reaches the end without an energy absorber, students can actually feel that through the ground-- transmitted through the ground. That's how much force is transmitted. In order to work safely aloft or over the side, officers and crew must carefully evaluate the work to be done and ensure that they are in agreement on procedures, definitions, and communications. Working aloft means any elevation from which a person is at risk of injury from falling, including falls below deck level through openings. Over the side means outside the ship's rails. Fall arrest systems are sets of equipment that can slow a fall, stop a fall, or minimize the distance of a fall. Before beginning work, personnel gather to review their procedures and responsibilities. Officers should not use crew members with a fear of heights or allow those with less than 12 months of experience to work unsupervised. In many cases, for jobs around openings or close to the ship's side, a fall hazard may not have been considered. The dangers that I would see really would focus on access points. Number one-- Al Rainsberger is the director for health and safety at Foss Maritime. He is responsible for the safety of crew members working on vessels while underway, as well as in dry dock. Anyone working at height should perform a job safety analysis prior to doing so. Really, what it does is it gives you an opportunity to identify the work hazards and make sure you're prepared and have different options. The meeting is to identify the risks and prepare the crew to safely complete the job. A permit to work is required when there is potential for a fall of two meters or more or in circumstances where it is assessed that risk of significant injury exists, such as protrusions or obstructions in the fall zone, for falls less than two meters. Permit system is important, because there's a series of balances and checks that's used as reminders, really, but just to make sure everyone involved in the work is actually involved in the risk assessment for that work. Officers should encourage all personnel involved in the JHA to offer feedback, ask questions, and demonstrate understanding. Remember, this is one of the last chances to identify any hazards that may have been missed. Assess and verify to confirm the evaluation of the risks and effectiveness of the controlling actions. The permit to work must be completed and approved before any work takes place. Pay special attention to the task specific Job Hazard Analysis section of the permit, which must include a rescue plan. And make sure all personnel participate in an on-site review of the permit and JHA. For routine work aloft and over the side, such as rigging the gangway, for instance, use of the permit to work is at the discretion of the master. A JHA should be undertaken and reviewed for such routinely hazardous work at least every three months. I think some of the steps that you need to look at before you go in to work at heights is to look at the types of hazards you may see. Could include being out in the wind, a wet surface you're working off of. You maybe need fall protection, or maybe even a personal flotation device, if you're working over water. So you've got issues with unstable footing, you've got issues with impalement, you've got issues with being in confined spaces. And all of these scenarios have solutions that can be used to safely enter a vessel, for instance, where you can work at height on a mast, for instance, and stay attached to the structure without coming off of it. The task specific JHA section of the permit to work must take into account the possibility that people working aloft or overside may require help or rescue. The rescue plan is totally dependent on the environment that you're in. In other words, if you're going into a vessel, it's a confined space. You have to have a rescue plan for that confined space. What if there's a change of environment within that vessel or that confined space? How do I get somebody out of there? The last thing that we want in any industry is for the rescuer to become the rescuee. And we see this all too often in environments where there's hazardous environments. In developing a rescue plan within your JHA, consider the following. What is the type of situation that might require rescue of a worker? What is the access available to the person or people involved in an accident? What is the difficulty to recover a fallen or suspended worker? What is the level of competence of the workers involved and those to be involved in a rescue? Is there any specialized equipment that might be required? Are there any other hazards which might be encountered during a rescue, such as breathing problems or chemical exposure? And finally, are those involved in a potential rescue aware of the effects of suspension trauma and prepared to provide appropriate medical care? Suspension trauma is when an individual-- when they have fallen, and they're hanging in their harness, and their leg straps are connected, the weight of their body being suspended in the strap actually begins to restrict the blood flow in their femoral arteries. You got two major arteries on the inside of your legs. They're called your femoral arteries. So what's happening is, while you're suspended you're restricting that blood flow. When you restrict that blood flow, you start building toxins inside those arteries. If blood stops, it has a tendency to clot. Suspension trauma is potentially life-threatening. Any crew member held too long in a suspended position is at risk of diminished circulation and lack of blood supply to the brain. Whenever using a harness, it must be attached to a shock-absorbing lanyard or a fall arrester, and only then to a strong anchor point. Never use just a rope lanyard which will not absorb the shock, as this can cause serious injury or death, should you fall. Always avoid unnecessary slack to keep the distance of any fall to a minimum. When using staging at the hull side, make sure that the two get lines used in its rigging are long enough to at least trail into the water to provide lifelines in case of a fall. Always use a personal flotation device, such as a working vest or a life jacket. And when there's danger of a person falling into the water, lower a ladder to the water to aid in a potential recovery. And have a life buoy and recovery line standing by. Crew members should avoid working overside while the vessel is underway, except in the case of rigging a pilot ladder. Use polypropylene ropes with UV protection for get lines, safety lines, and for the bosun chair. Don't place tools where they can create hazards, either tripping or falling on someone else. Switch off and lockout any radar or transmission devices if you're working nearby. Rope off with warning signs the area that is directly below the work site. Secure all doors leading to roped off areas. Inspect all equipment to make sure it is in good condition and fit for purpose before use. Check that the anchor points for the fall arrest system are of sufficient strength and well anchored to the ship's structure. 90% of accidents on ships are due to human error. The best way to manage human error is to ensure the procedures and risk assessment tools, such as daily work planning, PTW, JHA, and toolbox talk in the management system are used effectively. This helps to ensure that your perception of the risk is aligned with the reality of the situation. Too often fall hazards have not been identified or have been perceived and assessed as low-risk only for a fatal accident to occur. Proactive crews will also meet after the job to assess how it went and what can be improved in the PTW and JHA for next time. Well, recently, the last few years, not just accidents but fatalities we've had. A young man fell overboard, lost his life. We've had another man that was killed with a mooring accident. Another one was killed in an elevator. And another one fell down the ballast tank. So they were all avoidable at the end of the day. And this is what all these processes are about, is to try and encourage people to look at them in the right way, in the right light, and avoid these things happening in the future. Almost every single accident that occurs in any industry is due to human factor. We pay attention to what we're doing, not how we're doing it. In summary, use risk tools effectively to identify all hazards of the job. Know the definitions of a fall hazard, aloft, and overside to assist personnel in identifying these hazards for a given job. Know how to fill out a Permit to Work and conduct a Job Hazard Analysis for each hazardous task. This should be an interactive process that encourages feedback and questions and should involve all personnel involved in the work. The task-specific section of the JHA must have a rescue plan, taking into consideration the procedures and equipment required, issues of access and difficulty of recovery, and the special hazards of suspension trauma and recovering a suspended victim quickly. Finally, all personnel must utilize the proper equipment and take appropriate precautions at the work site. Harnesses, staging equipment, and fall arrest systems. Equipment storage, preparation, and readiness is crucial in preventing accidents. Take your time to ensure all potential fall hazards for any given job have been identified and that the appropriate precautions have been put in place. The first priority is to eliminate the fall hazard or, if not, ensure that hazard is controlled. If circumstances or conditions change, stop the job and reassess the risks. The hazards and consequences of failure can be catastrophic.

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Duration: 14 minutes and 50 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 8
Posted by: maritimetraining on Feb 8, 2017

Working-at-Heights

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