Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Boat making health and safety: Exposure to fumes

Chemicals and fumes can
be toxic in enclosed spaces.
Boat manufacturing and maintenance often requires working with noxious chemicals – too bad some companies are still not taking this health and safety issue seriously.

Recently, a man died after being found unconscious in a boat’s hull where he was overcome by fumes.

At the catamaran manufacturer years before, an employee fainted after inhaling large quantities of chemicals.

Products workers might encounter include contact glue, carpet cleaner and other cleaning agents. In boat manufacturing, workers are also often exposed to styrene, a chemical used to make plastic products.

According to the employees testifying at the inquest, they were not told that inhaling these fumes could cause them to pass out or even die and that it was not common for workers to wear masks when working with the chemicals.

Since the incidents, the company had taken steps to reduce risks and train workers appropriately, they said.

According to the testimony, some workers liked to use the chemicals in enclosed spaces because it would get them high.

Source: Illawarra Mercury

Powerful air cleaners for removing chemicals

Aside from source control, ventilation and personal protective equipment, workers handling chemicals and other hazardous substances in boats and enclosed spaces can benefit from a portable and powerful air cleaner with the right air filters.

Electrocorp offers industrial-strength air cleaners with activated carbon and HEPA plus optional UV germicidal filtration to remove the widest range of harmful chemicals, gases, fumes, odors, particles, and other irritants.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

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