How to Minimize the Risks of an Electrical Shock on a Ship?

If you are new to a ship, the first few days might leave you confused, lost, and extremely apprehensive as to how are you going to spend the rest of your days of your contract on the ship safely without confronting any accidents.

The huge matrix of pipes, the complex machinery, and the massive bunch of wires which runs without any restrictions in different directions might leave you a bit messed up in your mind. It is during this vulnerable mindset, you can come across the worst accident that has happened to you.

When we talk about accidents on a ship, an electrical shock is the worst of all kinds. Electrical wires and connections are present everywhere on a ship and it is important to escape them to prevent yourself and others from getting a major electrical shock.

Electrical Shock

Moreover, it is said that a person onboard a ship gets an electrical shock mainly due to its negligence and unawareness.

In this article, we will learn how you can save yourself and others from an electrical shock on board a ship.

Also, find out what all precautions you should take to minimize the risk of an electrical shock on board.

 Steps to Minimize the Risk of an Electrical Shock Onboard

1)    Start with the first round of the day; check all electrical motors, wiring, and switches, for abnormal sounds, variation in temperatures, and loose connections.

2)    Ensure that all electrical connections are inside the panel box so that no one can touch them accidentally.

3)    In the accommodation area multiple socket plugs shouldn’t be used.

4)    Turn off the breaker before starting any work on an electrical system.

5)    Use ply card and notice board as much as possible to inform others about the ongoing work to avoid accidental starts.

6)    Double check the electrical tools like portable drills for any loose wires before attempting any job.

7)    Always wear protective clothing, rubber gloves, rubber knee pads and safety shoes to avoid the risk of shock.

8)    Use electrically insulated handle tools for working or checking the electrical system.

9)     Before working, remove the jewellery wristband and other conductive items.

10) When working or removing multiple wires, tape off all but the one wire you are working on.

11) Try as much as possible not to work on a live system and even if you do so by a professional and work carefully with full concentration.

12)  During working in a group or pair, organise a toolbox meeting and discuss the procedure, risk and hazards of the job at hand.

13)  If you don’t know about the system, ask for assistance. Don’t work without knowing it.

14) Always think about your own safety and the safety of fellow persons while carrying out any electrical work.

Disclaimer: The authors’ views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Marine Insight. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Marine Insight do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader.

The article or images cannot be reproduced, copied, shared or used in any form without the permission of the author and Marine Insight. 

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About Author

An ardent sailor and a techie, Anish Wankhede has voyaged on a number of ships as a marine engineer officer. He loves multitasking, networking, and troubleshooting. He is the one behind the unique creativity and aesthetics at Marine Insight.

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  1. Very good article.

    But can I add some more? If so,

    1. All wire should be treated live wire. That mean if someone see bare wire, he should check voltage with good meter before touching it.

    2.Breaker off, fuse take off and lock the breaker. And post “Man On Work”. After that you should check the terminal you want to work with good meter to make sure you switch off the right breaker.

  2. I completely agree with you. Safety should be the prime concern for all seafarers working on board.

  3. One of the most important practice on an electrical related work or job either onboard or inland …”Lock-out / Tag-out”.

  4. I really like how you said to check all electrical motors, wiring, and switches. My parents just bought a boat to take out on the ocean this summer. Thank you for the safety tips for marine electricity.

  5. Well illustrated articles ,in line with safety but if you can talk about passeger electrical safety ,please

  6. Do rubber gloves prevent electric shock? The answer is yes if the rubber gloves are designed for electrical use. But for usual rubber gloves, this function is not reliable or even non-existent.

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