Working on heights is not that bad, if you know this important rule!

We all have fears, but some of us has intense fear when doing certain jobs on the ship. Even an experienced A/B still feels the jitters when doing their job on the stages, that is hanged on a certain height.

We follow safety procedures to asses and reduce risks. It also includes the right equipment to use. But even if we follow all the right procedures, our ability to make choices is a great factor in deciding to follow the procedure, or divert from it. Remember that every action you make has a risk involved in it, so make sure it is the correct decision.

When do you say that your job is correct?

There are specific job on the ship; and working aloft is one of them. Many seafarers misunderstood this job, and most of the time overlooked safety just to finish the job properly.

We all looked at the easiest way to complete the job, in the expense of safety. Your main job is to be safe! Nothing is more important than that.

When do you say you are working aloft?

Some would say that when you are doing a job in the monkey island near the radars, that is working aloft. Other people says that painting a bulkhead while using a ladder is working aloft. While others would also say that if it is more than 6 feet and you need to climb, that is working aloft.

Regardless of how the officers on-board would interpret your SMS Manual; still the bottom line is DO YOUR JOB CORRECTLY & SAFELY.

Know the limitation of your work

There will be times that you will do certain risk assessment while doing the job. The purpose of the checklist and risk assessment prior doing the job is to make you aware of certain risk that may cause future accident and reduce that risk.

But you must also know that you should also make your own assessment of the scope of the job in order for you to know the additional risk involved, and your limitation in doing the job.

Safety doesn’t stop at the checklist you’ve completed, and the papers you’ve signed before doing your job. Safety is a continuous process until the job is completed. Knowing your limitations and the scope of your job makes you aware of the safety procedures you need to do in order to minimize risk.

Stay out of trouble, and make sure its documented

Working aloft can be performed safely if you know how to do it right. Here are some tips to start with:

  • Access the situation. Do a preliminary risk assessment on the scope of the job that you will do.
  • Check available tools. You must know the specific tools to use, and you must have it, otherwise you will be starting a job that you will not finish later.
  • Follow company procedures, checklists, and necessary working permit are done in order to document the job. It includes a documented risk assessment of the safety officer in order to prove that your job is correctly done.
  • Keep it simple. Only use tools that are necessary and never clutter your job with to much tools that later on complicates your job.
  • Keep it tight. Remember to tie up any ladders or stages that you will use and make sure that it is secured.
  • Don’t look down. This is a common rule to remember. Sometimes looking down makes you feel dizzy, specially if you are working on a certain height.
  • Don’t be a hero. If you have a doubt that you wont be able to do the job safely or you are afraid in doing the job because of certain phobias, admit it early before you become the casualty in the event of an accident.
  • Check personnel. If you are the team leader, do an assessment on your crew whether they are capable to do the job or not. Do not force anyone if you know they are not fit to do the job.
  • And finally HOLD TIGHT. You will probably do the job while the ship is moving. Remember to hold tight, and don’t let go.

If you want to add more in this list, write it in the comment below.

There are a lot of ways to be safe. The problem is, people want to make shortcuts. Remember that accidents comes from sloppy jobs. And when your making shortcuts, you tend to overlooked safety.

Keep safe on the ship and remember that your family is waiting for you when you go home.

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