Personal safety on board a vessel is of utmost priority for everyone on the ship. Numerous times, as can be seen from the increase in naval mishaps these days, vessels lacking the required safety measures meet with accidents. To minimise this loss of life and property, it is imperative for the shipping companies to take the proper measures to ensure onboard safety of all seafarers.
We have previously seen the list of personal safety equipment that every sailor needs onboard. Here, we continue the list to include some more equipment that is a must for seafarers.
Personal Safety Equipment Required on Ships
It is mandatory for all ships to have all the various types of fire extinguishers for efficient handling of different cases of fires that may arise on the ship. In such cases, portable fire extinguishers can be tremendously helpful and can be used to put out small-scale fires aboard the ship. Fire extinguishers should be placed in the areas of ships that are easily accessible and close to potential fire sources on board.
Fire suits, also known as fire proximity suits, are used by seafarers while diffusing large fires. The material used to make these suits is heat-resistant and hence protects the bodies of the people wearing it. In case of large fires aboard ships, it is important for the people in charge of diffusing the fire to be wearing these suits. All ships are required to carry at least two of these suits.
In case of a fire onboard, it becomes hard for people to breathe due to the smoke. In such cases, breathing equipment such as oxygen cylinders and masks can be of help. The oxygen masks provide a short supply of oxygen in case of emergencies, while oxygen cylinders provide a much larger and reserved source of oxygen.
The oxygen cylinders also come with tanks that can replace the used one. They also include an alarm which warns the user when the air in the cylinder goes low, thus giving the wearer a timely notice to change the cylinder.
Escape Smoke Hood
During fires, it is not only the flames that cause injuries. The gases and smoke that result from the fire are also fatal for the people. Here, escape smoke hoods come in handy. Escape smoke hoods are lightweight hoods made of flame-retardant fabric and block a number of toxic gases. In case of a fire, these escape hoods can be of help during the evacuation, giving the wearers a wide window of time. These escape smoke hoods are to be placed in areas that are accessible and well-ventilated.
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are small devices that send out electronic transmission signals in case of emergencies. These signals pinpoint the exact location of the beacon and alert authorities about the emergency thus deploying a rescue team to assist those in need. These devices work in remote locations where a cell phone network is not accessible. The personal locator beacons are usually used with other personal protection equipment like survival suits or life jackets.
These are the distress signals that are used in case of extreme emergencies. Pyrotechnics onboard ships are provided to grab the attention of people and other ships in the immediate vicinity, so that they can offer immediate help in case of emergencies. Pyrotechnics are basically the visual forms of SOS signals. Hand Flares, Smoke signals, Rocket Parachute flares are pyrotechnics that are used on ships. These pyrotechnics must be kept in accessible places away from fuel and combustibles. They must be disposed properly in case of expiration.
Search and Rescue Transponder
The Search and Rescue Transponder or SART is a transponder that is to be used in case of emergencies at the sea. There are two types of SART, the radar-SART and AIS-SART. The radar-SART locates lifeboats or distressed vessels by marking the route on the rescue ship’s radar display. The AIS-SART uses an automatic identification system to locate the distressed vessel. It also sends to the rescue ship updated and more accurate locations of the distressed vessel using a built-in GPS.
Bulkheads, walls and decks of the ships need to be insulated to reduce the spread of fire, to prevent moisture, to reduce energy use for heating and cooling and to protect goods on board the ship. The mechanical equipment on ships needs to be insulated to reduce emissions, to reduce the load on equipment and for personnel protection. Thus, thermal insulation on ships reduces the impact machine emissions have on the environment and also provides a habitable setting for the people on the ship.
First Aid Kit
First Aid Kits are perhaps the most important components of the personal safety equipment. They include all the medicines and remedies for emergencies. Having a properly stocked first aid kit can be of tremendous help on board ships providing immediate medical help and sometimes even saving a life. In a case of emergency, it is important to first radio for professional help and then try to assist using a first aid kit.
While at sea, during medical emergencies, a resuscitator kit works as a substitute for ambulance till the patient is given the required medical help. A resuscitator kit provides IPPV and oxygen inhalation therapy to the patient in case of emergencies. It also includes a manual resuscitator, manual suction apparatus, automatic ventilator and small oxygen cylinder and other surgical and diagnostic items.
Need for Personal Safety Equipment on Ships
The people aboard the vessel including the crew need to ensure their own safety so as to properly be able to carry out a voyage. It is imperative to take the proper measures in order to minimise the chances of an accident occurring. But mishaps can occur at any time, regardless of all the precautionary measures that have already been taken. Personnel on board the vessel must be prepared for a worst-case scenario. The various safety measures and equipment mentioned above can be highly useful during a mishap.
Hence, it is important to stock up on this safety equipment before embarking on the ship. Even with the help of the given equipment, one must immediately contact authorities and seek professional help in case of emergencies.
Source: Cover Image