Good housekeeping is essential to a safe workplace onboard a vessel and housekeeping oversights rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys. In view of this, the American P&I Club issued a list of general vessel housekeeping observations which could affect vessel safety.
- Preservation of the steel, deck structures and the operational areas of the ship
What to look for: Rust and wastage of steel structures.
Task: Scale, paint and preserve! Maintain steel coatings for the prevention of rust and wastage while improving the appearance of the vessel at the same time.
What to look for: Uncovered paint cans or containers not properly stored and not secured for heavy weather.
Task: Store materials appropriately to eliminate excessive paint and paint thinner fumes by covering containers or cans and ventilating the area.
Ladders and stairs
What to look for: Wet, oily, greasy, or dusty residues in ladder treads or stairs.
Task: Clean and degrease stairwells and ladder wells periodically and dry if wet. Apply nonskid materials or coating additives in areas found to be slippery. Also ensure accesses to ladders and stairs are clear of any material that can cause a trip and fall.
What to look for: Lint in the dryer filter/screen, or lint which has built up behind the dryer. Electrical connections are correctly in place and the dryers
are in good working order.
Task: Clean the lint screen/filter before or after each load of laundry. Remove lint that has collected around the drum. Conduct periodic electrical tests as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
What to look for: Unlabeled vents and exhausts on deck, cleats, bitts, pad eyes on the deck and safe standing areas that are not easily detectable.
Task: Use stencils to label vents and exhausts. Paint and highlight obstructions in the walking path. Keep snap-back areas well painted and visible. Ensure save-all capacities are marked.
Oxygen and acetylene cylinders
What to look for: Oxygen and acetylene cylinders stored improperly or missing protective valve caps.
Task: Always store and secure oxygen and acetylene cylinders upright in different lockers at least five feet apart and with a fire division boundary between and prepared for sea conditions.
- Safe access to critical equipment and proper stowage of gear for heavy weather and routine use
What to look for: Articles or equipment not secured adequately for sea, or obstructing access to fire stations, fire extinguishers, emergency escapes, lifeboats, or lifesaving equipment, and good directions to emergency stations.
Tasks: Regular safety checks and drills to ensure the quick deployment of safety equipment at all times. Access to equipment such as fire hoses and extinguishers should be clear. No other items to be stored in fire hose boxes, fire control stations, and safety equipment lockers.
What to look for: Tools not stowed properly, poorly lit areas, grinder safety guards are not in place and trip hazards left out on deck.
Tasks: Replace or install additional lighting as necessary, organize and secure tools, fit guards.
Further details may be found by reading the Club’s full loss prevention guide herebelow: