The following is the text of a news release from Videotel Marine International:
(LONDON) — Videotel has launched a brand new training course, "Noise and Vibration — The Forgotten Hazards," to coincide with the new legal requirements to reduce noise onboard ships which come into effect with the adoption of new SOLAS regulations on July 1, 2014. These set mandatory maximum noise level limits for machinery spaces, control rooms, workshops, accommodation and other spaces onboard ships.
Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel, welcomes the new regulation. “Noise and vibration controls are an essential part of good practice in the onshore workplace and we are delighted that those at sea will soon be legally entitled to the same protection,” he says.
“Research shows that noise and vibration can affect human behaviour and well-being in different ways. Even moderate noise and vibration cannot only effect comfort but with increasing exposure can lead to a severe drop in performance in the workplace.”
“Yet many seafarers are often unaware of the health implications following excessive experience of these hazards,” he adds. “Often the consequences are felt only gradually, passing unnoticed until the individual realises they are having difficulty hearing, or are suffering impairment of fine motor skills.”
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is permanent and cannot be cured. When the degree of hearing loss reaches the point where a hearing aid is required, the seafarer may no longer be able to work on board ship, except perhaps in the galley. Hand-arm vibration syndrome and whole body vibration syndrome can be extremely painful and cause long-lasting distress.
"Noise and Vibration — The Forgotten Hazards" is available as an interactive CD-ROM, Videotel on demand (VOD) and a DVD with supporting workbook. It aims to inform everyone onboard ship about the dangers and to motivate them to take precautions against NIHL and other vibration related health risks. Using documentary footage, graphics and dramatic reconstructions to tell the story, it details the effects of NIHL and vibration syndromes, sets out the sound levels that seafarers can safely be exposed to and emphasises the importance of wearing ear protection and of following company procedures for working safely with hand-held vibrating equipment.