Keep clean and stay safe: WSS promotes best practice for shipboard hygiene
The focus of shipboard safety is rightly on the prevention of accidents among seafarers, through regulation, training and promotion of safety culture. But despite the attention given to such incidents, the majority of medical consultations and treatments onboard are due to medical conditions, rather than injuries.
Data on infection and illness rates among seafarers are concentrated on European mariners and are insufficient in providing an in-depth picture of the threat to health from infection by pre-existing conditions or failings in shipboard hygiene standards.
In direct response to the challenges faced by the maritime industry in protecting health onboard ship, WSS has designed and developed a high quality, standardised range of galley and accommodation cleaning products.
Rune Nygaard, Product Marketing Manager, Marine Chemicals, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, says the industry needs support to understand the unique challenges of the onboard ecosystem and how to support crews day to day.
"Infectious diseases are recognized as an occupational hazard in seafaring and are closely connected to the conditions of working and living onboard. Every vessel can be viewed as a self-contained eco-system and if inadequate cleaning is allowed to interfere with the natural processes taking place within that eco-system, then problems can occur."
The Unitor EasyClean and Gamazyme products are designed to provide a standardised range of cleaning materials that are available globally and are simple and safe for seafarers to use. Instructions and wall charts have been designed with easy-to-follow pictograms and colour coding. To promote best practice still further, an e-learning programme, accessible to all crewmembers, supports the range.
"Standardisation has clear advantages," says Nygaard. "Buying and using products and equipment from the same supplier globally makes consumables easily recognisable and manageable in terms of sourcing, use, instruction and application and removes the need for re-training every time a new product is brought on board."