3. Shipbuilding and health

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3. SHIPBUILDING AND HEALTH 3. Shipbuilding and health A successful working day is when every- one goes home safe and sound. There is a health risk to the workers at ship- yards and in the shipbuilding industry from exposure to hazardous substances. Exposure to some hazardous substances can be a risk factor for illness. There are also potential risks to the well-being of workers. They may include work-related pressures and stress, professional and/or social skills requirements. Noise and impurities in the air at the workplace have been reduced with technical and other solutions. The law regarding asbestos has been changed and use of asbestos has been stopped, and dangerous solvents have been replaced with other chemicals. Use of personal protective equipment has increased and the quality of protective equipment has improved. Shipbuilding can be challenging physical work but it is possible to make the physical work easier. At the planning stage physical load can be managed by paying attention to employee’s working postures and movements. If possible, stress should be placed equally on left and right sides of the body. It is vital to do stretch- ing exercises when working, because creating perfectly ergonomic working environment is rarely possible. Also, planning your own work can save you from many extra steps and keep out of unnecessary risks. Reserve enough time to get necessary auxiliary devices. Staff activity and efforts to improve ergonomic solutions are essential. Employees are the best experts in their own work. Forwarding development tips and ideas is valuable. Although it is not possible to realize all the suggestions, some of them may be put into practice sooner and some later. Occupational health personnel can offer advice on how to improve ergonomics at work and manage stress and load placed on the body. Everyone is capable to influence own general condition, muscular flexibility and endurance, eating habits and breaks. Possibility for job rotation and a positive attitude to work are beneficial. Variable physical exertion develops the body and helps to prevent different joint and muscle pains. 11


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