First aid in marine cargo handling

June 1, 2011

Workers involved in marine cargo handling are exposed to many hazards throughout the course of standard operations, according to OSHA. To protect these workers, the agency suggests proper adherence to first aid procedures.

First aid kits should be made available at each marine terminal, and at or near each vessel. These kits should:

  • Be weatherproof
  • Be stocked with items required for treating injuries, such as gauze, adhesive tape or bandages; wound cleaning agent; resuscitation equipment; latex gloves; and splints with elastic wrap
  • Contain sterile items in individually wrapped packages
  • Have contents determined by a person certified in first aid and familiar with specific workplace hazards
  • Be checked at regular intervals so used items can be replaced immediately

At least one person with a valid first aid certificate should be at the terminal and available to provide first aid during cargo handling operations. Additionally, a telephone or other means of communication must be available to contact assistance in case of an emergency.

Make sure workers not only know the location of the first aid kit, but also to report all injuries to a supervisor immediately, regardless of severity.