Texans who are employed on ships operating in the Gulf of Mexico need to be mindful of basic hygiene and safety protocols that they should follow. Working in an enclosed ship environment can result in foodborne illnesses, spreading viruses, and accidents involving machinery. Here are some basic steps that people can take to make their working environments.
Personal and environmental hygiene can help to prevent accidents and illnesses on ships. Workplace accidents at sea fall under maritime law instead of the state’s workers’ compensation law, so the claims process is somewhat different. However, preventative measures are still important. Personnel should follow a regular cleaning schedule and disinfect all frequently touched surfaces in areas such as the wheelhouse. Making sure the floors are regularly picked up and swept can also help to prevent slip and fall accidents on board. In the galley, all workers should wash their hands upon entry and each time after using the restroom. Contaminated or spoiled food should be promptly discarded, and workers should properly treat and cover any cuts they might have. Galley workers should have a rotation schedule for food and throw out anything that is at or past the expiration date.
Workers should wear appropriate clothing to help keep them safe, including the following:
• Close-toed shoes with good slip-resistance and grip
• Hardhats when working around machinery
• Hairnets and aprons when working in the galley
• Disposable gloves when preparing or handling food
• Work gloves
Taking basic steps can help to protect ship workers from being injured in accidents or contracting foodborne or other illnesses. Shipping companies should make sure that their employees have the types of personal protective equipment they need to safely perform their jobs and that all employees follow good hygiene practices.