The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided extra assistance to sailing charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), whilst kick starting a campaign to improve safety for small boat builders and people working in repair yards.
Over the weekend (18th and 19th April) the HSE provided free training sessions for crews aboard both SV Tenacious and STS Lord Nelson, two tall ships owned and operated by the JST. HSE inspector Dennis MacWilliam also gave a presentation on how the HSE oversee safety in the industry.
The importance of this new campaign is highlighted by the fact there has been one death and several major injuries in this sector in the last few years. These incidents took place on board boats whilst in port or at boatyards under construction or undergoing repair and refurbishment.
Later this year, HSE and local authority inspectors in Hampshire will be visiting boatyards and marinas to inspect the safety of construction and repair work being carried out on boats. They will focus on issues such as storage and use of highly flammable liquids, safe design use and maintenance of cranes/hoists used to lift boats, the management and supervision of contractors and the adequacy of ventilation equipment which may be used to remove harmful fumes, vapours and dust from working areas.
Dennis MacWilliam, HSE Inspector for Hampshire, said: “I was pleased to be invited to give a speech on this very important subject, particularly working in partnership with such a worthy organisation as the JST. For this part of the country, the boat building and repair industry forms an important part of the economy of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. Many of the smaller businesses in this sector may not have ready access to good health and safety advice. Our campaign aims will be to broaden knowledge of best practice, but also to take action where we find dangerous practices or poor control of risks to workers’ health.”
Andy Spark, Ship Operations Manager for JST, said: “A recent hot work issue on board one of our vessels highlighted that it can be all too easy let your guard down whilst not at sea, particularly when contractors unfamiliar with the risks associated with vessels are working onboard. We are pleased to be working in partnership with the HSE on the promotion of this campaign.”
For more information on health and safety in the small boat building and repair sector, please go to www.hse.gov.uk