Study: Personal Protective Equipment Most Critical to Safety
A new article published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal investigates the causes of seafarer injuries and accidents and finds that injury reduction campaigns focused on personal protective equipment (PPE) would be most effective at reducing risks to workers.
The study, “Quantitative risk assessment of seafarers’ nonfatal injuries due to occupational accidents based on Bayesian Network modeling,” was conducted by a team of Singapore -based researchers.
A survey was designed to test the following potential risk factors: gender, age, experience, nationality, ship type, position, time in position, tour duration, change of ship, familiarity, training, adequate rest, distraction, job risk awareness, job risk assessment, risk communication, procedure design, shortcut, housekeeping, defective equipment/tools, PPE availability, PPE training, PPE usage, reasons not using PPE, shore visit frequency, maintenance, accident feedback loop and injury during latest tour.
The researchers collected 354 responses from seafarers in Singapore, China, South Korea and Vietnam. These countries were selected because of their high representation in the international seafaring market.
The survey results indicated that 14 percent of seafarers suffered at least one injury during their latest tour of duty. The biggest influential risk factors were age, risk awareness, sea experience and PPE availability.
Four percent reported not having received proper PPE training, and the injury rate among those respondents was as much as 33 percent higher. PPE availability was shown to have the greatest potential to decrease injury probability.
In situations where PPE was readily available, seafarers identified that the equipment’s “impact on efficiency” was the top factor that could hinder the use of PPE, followed by “unavailable,” “uncomfortable” and “don’t feel necessary.”
The “risk awareness” factor could be improved through training and “accident feedback loop,” but 18 percent of respondents reported that their company did not always share the accident lessons with the crew.