The Importance of Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment

Mon, 23 November 2015

An almost universal best safety practice is the wearing of proper personal protective equipment for the environment in which employees will work and the specific job tasks they are going to perform.  Whether a maritime industry employee is at a shore facility or on board a vessel the selection and use of appropriate PPE can prevent injuries and also mitigate the effects of an incident even when caused by failures to follow other precautionary measures.  Understanding why PPE is necessary and which PPE should be worn are both equally important.  It is critical that maritime industry companies motivate their employees to view PPE use as something for their own benefit not an inconvenience.  Additionally employees must be equipped with the knowledge of which items of PPE protects them from different hazards and have the expertise to select appropriate ensembles of PPE for a given situation.  It is not sufficient for either satisfying inspectors or for protecting employees that a company simply invests in having PPE available.  Its proper use is simply good management when it comes to protecting the company and the health and welfare of its employees.

Failure to equip an employee with proper PPE, whether due to company shortcomings or individual negligence has shown to be a factor in on average 22% of Shipyard accidents and fatalities. A typical fatality happened to a ship repair worker in October when he was ejected from an aerial lift basket and was crushed between the lift and a ship hull. He was in non-compliance when found because he was not equipped with a fall arrest PPE.  In September a worker fell from scaffolding while welding a plate inside a ship bay, and died from suffering an injury to his head. Just one week prior, a worker fell off a ladder while repairing a ship lighting fixture and fell to the dock platform. His was a sudden death that could have easily been prevented with the proper fall arrest PPE.

SSA member MYMIC Global Limited has available on-line interactive training which covers all aspects of PPE to both motivate employee use and equip them with the knowledge of what gear is appropriate in given situations.  Some topics which are covered in this training include hand, head, eye, face, and foot protection plus respirator usage, hearing loss, and fall protection equipment.  Training can be purchased as an off-the-shelf package at a reasonable cost as either a site license or per employee charge.  Customization of the training to cover those topics relevant to a given site is also available; quotations available on request and additional topics specific to your company can be developed under a partnership with MYMIC.  For additional information or to schedule a consultation on what PPE Training is best for your organization please contact MYMIC Global Managing Director, Dr. Tom Mastaglio,,  +1 353 87 791 1169/+1 353 66 946 0100.

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