Safety's fine, when you got the time...

I am not sure exactly who sent me the email, but it wasn't from anyone with a maritime background. It was one of those forward thingies. It had been around and forwarded quite a few times, thats for sure. It went something like, "the reason why get such cheap goods from China, is that they don't care for health and safety laws there." Which I believe holds some truth; anywhere we have an abundance of resource we end up taking it for granted. In Asia one gets the sense that life is pretty cheap.

Anyways the pictures here, were included in the email, to illustrate the point, which they certainly do quite well. But then it struck me the pictures were of very creative people in Asia, but not necessarily China, but what really got me was two of the pictures are work situations on or around ships.

The top one is of a worker grinding was looks to me, to be ship structure, with a great face shield. Have a look at his shoes, proper attire in a shipyard I am sure.

The second one down is obviously of a ship, I don't recognize the paint job, but it is pretty fancy, once again this looks like a shipyard situation. At least they have proper coveralls, perhaps they could use scaffolding, great teamwork nonetheless.

Below that, is a construction worker, inventive, but I not entirely sure how much protection this offers the wearer. I hope that's not a critical weld either, I can't imagine anyone in this situation having the proper training and diligence to meet standards.

At the bottom, is a nouveau design hard hat. Either that or that worker is in Canada and has manage to come up with a new religious head gear, federally protected by laws. If it intended as protection for his head, imagine what drove him to come up with that. Ouch.

Perhaps they are crew, perhaps they are shipyard personnel. Who can say except the photographer, whom I am sure would be severely reprimanded for letting this "dirty secret" out. No matter who the persons are, we can be sure that our maritime industry has allot of ground to cover in changing the attitude that "safety's fine when you got the time".

It is very shameful to see these pictures. To me, they illustrate the complete disregard of the industry towards its people. Which is probably why they the industry feels itself so short of people. Perhaps its not that people are not interested in the maritime industry, perhaps they are literally blind from the lack of proper safety training and more importantly, lack of safety gear.

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