To foresee and prevent injuries is not just about building in protection or prescribing rules. Influencing people’s outlook and attitudes to rules and protective equipment is at least as important. The Navy has run environmental training courses for a number of years, known as MARA courses (marine work environment, rules and advice). The aim is to create knowledge and understanding of the work environment onboard – what the risks are and how to manage them.
Noise –a special priority
The courses are designed in cooperation with employers and employees’ organisations, and both parties are always represented. The courses are compulsory and their primary target group is managers and safety officers, but everyone may apply. Around 60 students per year attend the courses. There are many areas that have caught the attention of the work environment managers. Noise is a special priority. Briefly, the problem was to meet noise requirements in the design phase, mainly in small warships. To keep within the limit values for noise and at the same time meet the requirement for high speed, light structures, a lot of equipment and small spaces offering little distance between cabins/interiors and noise-emitting equipment has proven to be difficult for designers and construction yards. After redesigning, the problems are now solved.
Finally, we should mention a specific area in the naval fleet: the problems that exist onboard our submarines, where the environment is, to say the least, unique. Submarine air and the problem of mould are two subjects that will be discussed at this year’s SAN conference. If you want to know more about it, come and listen on 25 October.
Lennart Karlsson/Swedish Armed Forces