Employees are frequently injured by falls at their workplaces in California and elsewhere. When it comes to falls on the job, people might consider those that occur at industries based on land, such as the construction industry, the nursing field and even office jobs. Less commonly considered, but certainly not less important, are falls that you can experience while working on a container ship.
The last week of September has been designated Fall Prevention Awareness Week by the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence. This organization and many others understand the importance of being aware of the fall risks in your industry and taking measures to reduce or eliminate hazards. There are many opportunities to slip, trip or fall on the ship you work on, including the following:
- Falling from a ladder while you are securing cargo or performing ship maintenance and repairs
- Tripping over an electrical cord or other equipment or debris left on deck or in a corridor
- Slipping on deck when the surface is wet from rain or seawater
- Losing your balance during rough seas
- Falling from a ramp or dock
How can you reduce your risk of being seriously injured or killed from a fall while performing your duties on deck? You can start by being aware of the various hazards present as you do your daily job, as well as addressing those you can, such as wearing non-slip boots on a wet deck or removing clutter from walkways. You might also wear protective gear, such as safety harnesses, while working from heights. Your company is also responsible for ensuring the crew is adequately educated in the risks and provided with protective equipment.