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Ladder Safety

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[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: We climb and descend ladders many times throughout our work day, and it's easy to forget how dangerous ladders can be. Vessels roll and pitch in unpredictable motions. This can throw us off balance if we're not prepared. Bad weather, salt deposits, oil, or other chemicals create slippery surfaces. Distractions and failure to use proper safety equipment add to potential hazards. The good news is by using simple best practices, we can dramatically reduce exposure to ladder related accidents. In this program, you will learn basic hazard awareness for climbing and descending ladders and why the three points of contact rule is important; the various types of ladders you'll encounter on board; when and why to use proper fall arrest equipment; and what makes for good and safe ladder design. Let's take a look at two incidents taking place aboard vessels where proper procedures were not followed. Able-bodied seamen and an ordinary seaman entered a cargo tank for cleaning and inspection. Once they completed the job, the OS ascended the ladder, leaving the AB to finish collecting the cleaning equipment from the floor of the tank. When the OS reached the inclined ladder platform, he called out to the AB, trying to get his attention. Due to the loud noise within the tank, the OS crouched down, losing his three points of contact and shouted. The ship pitched suddenly, and the OS was thrown forward, falling 16 meters and later died from his injuries. The chief officer of a tanker was supervising a tank cleaning to prepare for a survey. Rushing to complete the cleaning before the Marine surveyor arrived, the chief officer entered the number three cargo tank carrying a flashlight. While attempting to descend the ladder, he lost his three points of contact, falling past the platform, falling more than 10 meters to the floor of the tank below. How could these accidents have been prevented? In the first case, the ship pitched, and the OS fell forward from the platform. The installation of a mid rail could have prevented this accident. The OS also ignored the three points of contact rule. When he cupped his hands to amplify his voice to get the AB's attention, he only had two feet on the ground and no hands free, leaving him vulnerable to the rolling of the vessel. In the second case, the chief officer could have easily prevented his accident by using a ball arresting device. He should have also maintained three points of contact. Lastly, he should not have been rushing, which further increased his risk of serious injury. The three points of contact rule is simple. When using a ladder or stairwell, keeping contact with at least two hands and one foot, or one hand and two feet. This is the best practice to avoid falling. Climbing with a bucket, tool, flashlight, or anything else in your hand will make it difficult to maintain three points of contact. Remember, keep at least one hand on the ship at all times. There are several types of ladders used aboard vessels. A vertical ladder is a ladder that does not exceed more than 20 degrees from vertical. An inclined ladder can vary from an angle of 5 to 70 degrees. Vertical ladders may be equipped with guard rings or safety cages mounted to help prevent falls. Mid rails may be installed on platforms and inclined ladders to ensure the gap in the railing doesn't become too wide for someone to fall through. Portable ladders are common onboard vessels of all kinds. Fixed length or extension ladders can be used aboard but require special handling. Typically they are used at an incline and must project above the actual workspace. Fall arrest gear is also recommended when working at heights above two meters. Best practices recommend having an additional person to steady the ladder in place. Folding ladders are commonly found in the engineering spaces onboard. Like the fixed length or extension ladders, a second person is required to help steady the ladder. Do not work on the top rung of the ladder. Most ladders show the safe working load as well as the maximum safe working height. A way to prevent injuries, or worse, when working at height is through the use of a personal fall arrest system. Always consult your company's SMS for details on when to use your fall arrest gear, as results vary by port state. Typically this will consist of a full body harness as well as a lanyard and deceleration device designed to absorb the shock of your body in the event of a fall. Both the lanyard and deceleration device are usually part of the same system to ensure proper rigging with every use. There are also other devices designed to be used alongside a fall arrest harness and safety line. These include inertia blocks, which are attached to the front of a vertical ladder and will immediately stop a fall by way of wedging itself against the guide rail. The lanyard attaches to this device. The most important thing to know about regulations governing ladder safety and design is that they vary from port state to port state. Portable ladders are more likely to be regulated and therefore designed to more stringent rules and regulations. Fixed, vertical, and inclined ladders aboard your vessel are governed by Solace, in addition to classification society rules. If you notice poor ladder design or maintenance, bring it to the attention of your immediate supervisor. Ladders should always be maintained properly, whether by ship staff or in dry dock. Keep a lookout for corrosion as this can cause treads to break and fall. Vertical ladders over 2 and 1/2 meters in height should include guard rings. For ladders in enclosed spaces, guard rings should not be included, as they can block rescue hoist procedures in emergency situations. Inclined ladders should include a mid rail if the distance between the treads and handrail is more than a half meter. Treads should be installed on cargo and ballast tank inclined ladders and platforms to prevent the accumulation of oil or other slippery substances. In this program, we learned basic hazard awareness for climbing and descending ladders and why the three points of contact rule is important; the various types of ladders you'll encounter on board; when and why to use proper fall arrest equipment; and what makes for good and safe ladder design. Despite the danger inherent in using a ladder aboard a ship, they are necessary to allow us to complete work repairs as well as gaining access to certain parts of the vessel. By following established rules and procedures, as well as taking your time to assess a job before you start work, will help ensure an accident free outcome for you and your crew members.

Video Details

Duration: 8 minutes and 56 seconds
Country: Andorra
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: maritimetraining on Jan 26, 2018

Ladder Safety

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