17. Working with dangerous and irritating substances and
17.1. General provisions
17.1.1. This chapter should be read in conjunction with Chapter 7 which refers to
publications and codes containing essential information on the handling of dangerous
17.1.2. Dangerous and irritating substances should be handled only under the
supervision of a responsible officer.
17.1.3. Seafarers should wear appropriate personal protective equipment (see
17.1.4. Seafarers should be aware that materials such as residual fuel oil and used
or spent engine oil contain substances known to be carcinogenic. In addition to any
carcinogenic effects, contact between oil and human skin may lead to a range of skin
complaints ranging from mild irritation to severe oil acne. Contact must be avoided by
taking suitable precautions, e.g. the owner should provide barrier creams and personal
17.1.5. Masters should ensure that the data sheet information provided by the
manufacturers with their products is made available to all seafarers who may come into
contact with these products.
17.2. Work with unsaturated polyesters
17.2.1. Composite bonding material can contain unsaturated polyesters which may
cause skin irritation which can be difficult to control. Appropriate personal protective
clothing should be worn when using substances which contain unsaturated polyesters.
17.3. Work with adhesives
17.3.1. Many adhesives emit fumes which are detrimental to health. Appropriate
respiratory equipment should be worn and work spaces should be well ventilated.
17.3.2. Fire precautions should be observed when working with adhesives.
1 Detailed guidance on protecting workers from these and other substances may be obtained from
the following ILO publications: Occupational exposure limits for airborne toxic substances,
Occupational Safety and Health Series No. 37, third edition (Geneva, 1991), and The provision of the
basic safety standards for radiation protection relevant to the protection of workers against
ionizing radiation, Occupational Safety and Health Series No. 55 (Geneva, 1985).