When workers are loading and unloading important cargo at a shipyard or harbor, certain practices will make the entire operation safer and may even save lives. A combination of responsive actions, marine insurance and maintaining the right medical tools and substances could reduce the chance of a dangerous situation escalating.

Over the years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued multiple advisories regarding medical procedures in shipyards. One of the key features of the First Aid Quick Card, for example, is its emphasis on reporting: emergency events and difficulties with first aid kits need to be reported to supervisors to ensure treatment effectiveness.

A phone must be easily accessible at the cargo handling area to facilitate sudden emergency operations. In addition to being fully stocked, all first aid kits need to be weatherproof and placed near every terminal, with the contents checked on a regular basis for usability.

Bringing items on and off vessels could mean workers are close to the water and at potential risk of falling. Life rings and personal flotation devices are important aids that need to be worn when workers are at risk of going overboard, although the source notes certain situations, like any work that involves a safety harness, where they might not be necessary.

Another important device that needs to be present at a shipyard is a stretcher attached to permanent bridles for easy hoisting, along with a blanket and a set of restraints for keeping a person covered and secure. The stretcher must be properly marked if it is kept hidden so it can be found when the proper moment arises, as well.

Operators should pursue the highest safety standards and make sure that all workers know what to do when a dangerous accident threatens a cargo handler.

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