Every workplace environment, from the smallest shop to the largest office block, needs to be a safe and healthy location for employees, clients, customers and visitors. It is therefore the responsibility of owners, operators and employers to ensure the highest standards of hygiene are maintained at all times.
This need is just as vital for working environments at sea. Ocean-going vessels and fixed offshore installations are by their very nature more isolated and often more confined, and as such they offer up their own set of potential problems. Vigilance is one of the most important priorities for operators in all parts of the world.
The best way to avoid issues with harmful bacteria is by implementing a regular schedule of microbiological tests. The subsequent analysis of test results can help to eradicate problems at the earliest stages, which in the process will greatly reduce any chance of an outbreak of a number of damaging diseases.
Early warnings allow for effective action
Testing for issues such as E. coli, legionella, aerobic bacteria and several other unwanted visitors serves as an effective early warning system on vessels and installations. Confined working environments are particularly at risk, so efficient and accurate monitoring is a must for the health and safety of those on board.
The introduction of a regular regime of microbiological tests allows owners and operators the opportunity to remain compliant with various pieces of legislation. Rules and regulations may change from one part of the world to another, so it’s important to stay within the law at every stage of the voyage.
As well as the performance of the microbiological tests themselves, the analysis of samples needs to be recorded and stored. If problems occur in the future, owners will be able to show that they have remained compliant at all times. An audit trail is a useful tool when looking retrospectively into the reason for an outbreak.
Needless to say, the adoption of regular microbiological tests will give owners and operators some much-needed peace of mind. The maritime industry is a particularly competitive entity, but health and safety should always be at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts.