When you work on a container ship in California, you are exposed to many hazards in your work environment. It is important to be aware of these hazards so you can be safe on the job.
While you may think that most dangers come from the cargo on board a ship, this is not always the case. According to Marine Insight, dust can be a hazard to your health. This is because some of these particles are so small that you may inhale them, and they can also irritate your eyes and make you sneeze. To protect yourself from dust, you should typically wear a face mask, especially if you regularly sweep the cargo.
The cargo itself can also present a risk as you do your job. If you transport cotton, coal or fishmeal, there may be a greater chance of fires on board the ship. This is because these substances can heat up during the voyage. Additionally, they can create flammable gas and dust. You may also experience hazards if you transport organic goods that can form carbon dioxide. The oxygen in communicating spaces and cargo holds can become depleted when carbon dioxide and other gases form, and these areas can quickly develop an atmosphere that is toxic.
Cargo can also be hazardous if it falls as it is being loaded onto or off of a ship. You and your crewmembers may incur injuries if some cargo hits you as it falls. Because of this, it is important to ensure you wear safety shoes and a hard hat. Additionally, you should typically stay away from this working area if you are not involved in loading and unloading cargo.
This information is intended to educate. It should not be used in place of legal advice.