Daily maintenance and cleaning tasks are essential to supporting a safe working environment on-board a ship, but the importance of these simple actions can also often be overlooked.
The latest in The American Club’s Pocket Guides, which contain valuable loss prevention advice for its Members and the industry at large, has just been published, titled Good Housekeeping. The guide underlines how essential a well maintained and uncluttered work environment is to the health and safety of the ship’s crew and the efficient and secure operation of the vessel.
While the phrase ‘ship-shape’, meaning in good order, neat and trim has been borrowed from the days of sail, The American Club has reverted to the more modern idiom, which refers to a well-run home to emphasise the importance of a safe working environment on-board ship.
Announcing the publication of the Pocket Guide, the Club’s Head of Loss Prevention and Senior Vice-President Dr William Moore commented, “We have previously reported that the overall cleanliness and general housekeeping of ships revealed during surveys have in some cases become a cause for concern. The appearance of ships and shipboard equipment on the outside suggests how well things are operating on the inside.”
As a consequence of these observations the Club felt it was important to stress certain common-sense practices in an easily understood and convenient format; the Guide quite literary folds-up to be carried in crew members’ pockets. The guidelines are ordered according to areas of the ship – deck, engine room, galley, stairs and ladders – as well as drawing attention to commonplace hazards – oily rags, paint lockers, acetylene cylinders.
Each section itemises ‘what to look for’ and outlines the tasks to be carried out to minimise risk. As ever the Club’s advice is intended to assist Members and their crews in ensuring that ships are maintained to the highest standards. Good Housekeeping-A Pocket Guide can be accessed in English, and in new and traditional Mandarin, on the Club's website:
In conclusion Dr Moore emphasised, “A ship's cleanliness and neatness contribute to the health, safety and happiness of the crew. Furthermore, housekeeping oversights rarely go unnoticed during port state control or vetting inspections, ISM audits and condition surveys. A well-kept vessel is sure to make a good first impression.”