Together with two engine room colleagues at Finntrader, Niklas Jarenfors, an engineer, designed a portable shower for accidents involving chemicals. On the Mercantile Marine Foundation’s awards day on 8 May, he and his colleagues were given SEK 21,000 for their innovation.
The original idea for the chemical shower came from the ropax ferry Finntrader’s first ship’s engineer, who wanted to improve safety in the event of a chemical accident. With a portable shower, the chemical protection suits could be washed directly on site just after a clean-up operation, and in this way the spread of hazardous chemicals could be considerably limited. The repairmen Joacim Castenson and Niklas Jarenfors and the engineer Royne Loo were given the task of designing the shower.
“Joacim started and he made the stand and frame. When I started my shift I took over and completed the work with Royne, who had many good ideas on how to solve things,” says Niklas Jarenfors.
The shower consists of a steel stand and a high frame with six shower heads, two on the long sides and two on the upper bar. A three-metre long fire hose is connected to the lower part of the frame and then to the nearest fire hydrant. It only remains to open the tap and let the water flush the suit clean.
“The idea is that the fire group mounts the shower in place and gets everything ready while the smoke divers are working to clean up the chemical leak,” says Niklas Jarenfors. “The only thing needed for the shower to work is a water supply, but that is not a problem since there are fire hydrants on most places on board.”
Dreamed about Chalmers
Niklas Jarenfors says he likes this type of problem solving and innovation work. Since he was a child, he always dreamed of studying at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and after finishing upper secondary school he applied for the marine engineering programme. Since his graduation last year he has worked as a repairman with Finntrader and now works as a motor man at Stena Jutlandica, but he has no problems with that.
“I definitely believe that as an officer I will benefit from having worked as a crewmember. You probably understand better that some jobs can take quite a lot longer than you first think. But now I feel that I’m ready for the next step, and if I was offered an officer’s job I would take it.”
Niklas Jarenfors comes from a family generally interested in technology, but he is the first who has chosen to go to sea. Unlike his brothers, who both work with IT, he wanted a more practical and hands-on profession.
“It is really cool to finally apply physical and mathematical calculations to something practical and see the concrete results. This job suits me very well,” he says.
Variety, independence and responsibility are the values he appreciates in his job on board.
“The chief engineer may say something like: That machine isn’t working like it should, can you have a look at it? Then you have to thinking for yourself and reasoning over the symptoms and then fix what’s wrong. Or it could be about an overhaul, or planned service, and then it’s important what order you do things in. We work with expensive equipment, so you have to be careful with it”.
Family: Mother, father and two brothers
Lives: In Kungälv outside Gothenburg.
Background: Technical programme at upper secondary school, Chalmers University of Technology, repairman at Finntrader, engineer at Stena Jutlandica.
Currently: Recipient of Mercantile Marine Foundation work reward 2019.
Work environment tip: Think twice before acting, and don’t forget to use ear defenders!