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In order to decrease the risk of accidents and ill health onboard, it is important to consider the work environment at the early stages of planning for new construction or reconstruction. It is  easiest to influence the design at this stage; once the ship is built it can be both difficult and expensive to make changes. However, it is not always easy to judge the final work environment by only looking at drawings. For this reason I, together with Anna-Lisa Osvalder, professor in human-machine systems at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, have produced a method handbook for examining drawings from a work environment perspective. The aim is to facilitate the systematic examination of drawings with the focus on the tasks which are to be performed. The handbook also provides tips on how to build simple scale models to make it easier to estimate spaces and distances. The method does not have any special requirements on previous knowledge and can be used by safety representatives or other personnel onboard. People who are involved in different ways in the work of designing workplaces onboard will find it useful, such as ship designers, inspectors from shipping companies, classification societies and authorities. To a large extent the method has been developed with the help of seafarers and participants on SEKO Seafarers’ training courses for safety representatives, with financing from the Swedish Mercantile Marine Foundation. The handbook is available free on the SAN website. If you have any questions about the handbook you are welcome to contact me at
Cecilia Österman / Linnaeus University in Kalmar

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