5. General shipboard safety and health considerations
5.1. Shipboard housekeeping and personal health and hygiene
5.1.1. The importance of good housekeeping in the prevention of accidents and
conditions likely to be injurious to health should be given proper priority in the training
of every member of the crew until its acceptance becomes second nature.
5.1.2. Minor deficiencies in the structure, equipment or furnishings (for example,
protruding nails and screws, loose fittings and handles, uneven and damaged flooring,
rough and splintered edges to woodwork and jamming doors) may cause cuts, bruises,
trips and falls. They should be repaired as soon as they are noticed.
5.1.3. Any spillage of oil or other substance likely to cause a hazard should be
5.1.4. Accumulations of ice, snow or slush should be removed from working
areas and passages on deck.
5.1.5. If asbestos-containing panels, cladding or insulation work loose or are
damaged in the course of a voyage, the exposed edges or surfaces should be protected
pending proper repair by a suitable coating or covering to prevent asbestos fibres from
being released and dispersed into the air. Known asbestos-containing materials should
only be disturbed for the purpose of essential maintenance and then only in strict
compliance with national or international requirements, as appropriate. In general, the
use of asbestos insulating material should be prohibited. (See also paragraph 17.5.5.)
5.1.6. Flickering lights may indicate faults in wiring or fittings which may lead to
electric shocks or fires. They should be investigated and repaired by a competent
person. Failed light bulbs should be replaced as soon as possible.
5.1.7. Instruction plates, notices and operating indicators should be kept clean
5.1.8. Heavy objects, particularly if placed at a height above deck level, should
be stowed securely against the movement of the ship. Similarly, furniture and other
objects likely to fall or shift during heavy weather should be properly stowed or
5.1.9. Doors, whether open or closed, should be properly secured.
5.1.10. Coils of rope and wires on deck should be located so as not to pose a
5.1.11. Under no circumstances whatsoever should seafarers stand in a bight of a
rope or wire which is lying on deck. Seafarers should never stand or move across a rope
or wire that is under strain.