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Safe Materials-Handling Practices
Carelessness Some  locations  are  potential  danger  spots,  and lack of alertness may cause accidents resulting in injury or death. People working on piers, weather decks, and in the ship’s hold must be constantly on  the  alert  for  moving  or  falling  objects.  As people become familiar with a job, they may try to  take  shortcuts  that  place  themselves  and  others in danger, Fatigue is another cause of carelessness. As a person tires, the person is less alert and more liable  to  cause  an  accident. Inexperience Unless   people   are   indoctrinated   and   ex- perienced   in   handling   a   particular   piece   of equipment, they should not be allowed to use it except   under   close   supervision.   People   who operate  cranes,  capstans,  winches,  windlasses,  and other  deck  equipment  must  first  get  authority from  the  first  lieutenant.  A  person  may  know  how to drive a forklift, but may not be fully aware of the  safety  precautions  that  should  be  taken while operating it. Operating materials-handling equipment is not the only way that inexperienced personnel  may  cause  accidents.  People  working as material handlers for the first time may not be aware of the dangers involved and such a minor mistake  as  an  improperly  loaded  cargo  net  may result in an injury—to themselves or someone else. Attitude Some  personnel  when  working  around  dan- gerous  objects  or  in  dangerous  work  areas  may become  overfamiliar  with  their  job.  When  this happens,  there  is  a  tendency  to  slack  off  in  the practice of safety. When personnel develop a poor attitude  toward  their  work,  a  change  must  be made;  either  in  their  attitude  or  in  their  work assignment. If previous experience indicates that a person has a tendency toward unreliability, the person   should   not   be   permitted   to   operate materials-handling   equipment   or   work   in   a position  where  his  or  her  unreliability  could  result in  injury  to  themselves  or  others. DANGER  AREAS Many  types  of  accidents  can  happen  when handling  material.  Some  of  the  more  important danger  areas  and  accident  causes  are  discussed below: Defective   equipment—Do  not  use  worn  or defective equipment, including winches, rigging, chains,  nets,  and  bridles.  Report  equipment condition  to  your  supervisor.  Repairs  should  be made  only  by  qualified  personnel  since  a  poor repair  job  may  constitute  a  worse  hazard  than  the defective  equipment. Thrown   objects—Objects   such   as   blocks, crowbars, and slings should not be thrown from the  deck  into  the  hold  or  onto  the  pier. Improperly  assembled  drafts—Nets  and pallets  should  be  loaded  so  that  items  will  not  fall during  hoisting. Failure to stand clear—The warning STAND CLEAR!   should   be   given   when   material   or hoisting gear is being lowered into a hold or onto the pier. Material improperly landed—Material should be  guided  to  a  safe  landing  after  being  stopped about  1  foot  above  the  intended  landing  area. Loads   stopped   overhead—Avoid   stopping loads overhead. If a hoisted load must be stopped before  being  lowered  into  the  hold,  it  should  be stopped  over  the  weather  deck—never  over  the square  of  the  hatch  or  over  the  heads  of  personnel on  the  pier. Improper  stowage—When  stowed,  material should be tiered evenly, tied in, stepped back, or floored  off  to  prevent  collapse.  Dunnage  should be used as a firm flooring for tiering. Never stow material improperly even for a temporary period. Hatch  beams  or  boards—When  only  part  of a  cargo  hatch  is  open,  the  remaining  hatch  beams should  be  pinned  or  locked  in  place  to  prevent them from being dislodged and falling on people below. Hatch boards should be stacked back from the  hatch  to  prevent  them  from  being  accidentally knocked  into  the  hold. Standing in bight of line—No one should ever stand with his or her feet in the bight of a line or  in  the  eye  of  a  cargo  strip  or  sling.  To  do  so may result in broken bones or even more serious injury. 4-12

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