Demystifying Ship Recycling - Issue 16
Compulsory training imparted to recycling facility workers by Gujarat Maritime Board (Part-1)
It is a widely known fact that whoever wants to work on a ship as a crew must undergo training as per their intended designated duties prior to joining a ship. The content of the training and required duration are governed by the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping Rules). They are amended periodically to ensure the crew is well trained to work safely onboard a vessel.
Have we ever wondered what training is provided to the workers working at recycling facilities?
The Government of India has ratified the Hong Kong Convention in Nov 2019. The Directorate General of Shipping has been appointed as an apex body for overseeing the ship recycling activities in India. Gujarat Maritime Board is a regional body that controls the ship recycling process at Alang. GMB has prepared different free training programs for yard workers before they begin to work in the yards.
Gujarat Maritime Board training center
A. Free Compulsory Comprehensive Safety Training (Duration: 12 days):
Any qualified individual who wants to work at a recycling facility must undergo 12 days of free compulsory safety training. This training gives a comprehensive idea about the jobs done at recycling yards. The training includes the identification of hazards in gas cutting operations. It emphasizes the application of Personal Protective Equipment. The training highlights the hazards of working in a confined space, working at height, working in the engine room, the presence of a hazardous atmosphere, etc. Safety-related to metals and materials handling are discussed in the course. Fire and explosion hazards are discussed in-depth and fire fighting training is provided to every individual.
First aid training and emergency response drills are conducted during the training.
And most importantly, the workers are made familiar with the environmental hazards and housekeeping at yards.
B. Free Refresher Safety Training (Duration 03 days):
Refresher training is provided to the workers who had already undergone 12 days of compulsory training earlier and need to refresh their knowledge. In this program, the workers are made aware of new developments in ship recycling, and the topics covered in the 12 days program are also discussed. The accident case studies are also discussed with the workers to make them understand the root cause of the accident and how those accidents could have been prevented.
C. Free Gas Cutter Safety Training (Duration: 02 days):
This is specialized training provided only to the workers who would be working as a gas cutter.
The workers are informed about the gas cutting equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE) and their significance during gas cutting. Safe procedures and hazards during the gas cutting are discussed in depth. Workers are made aware of fire prevention and protection during the gas cutting operations. Comprehensive training is provided about the fire causes, fire fighting, and extinguishing.
The effectiveness of training is evaluated by the Indian Register of Shipping. Upon clearing verbal/written exams, certificates are issued to the workers. If a worker fails to clear the exam, he has to undergo training again.
It is worth noting that all these trainings are provided free of cost keeping the workers’ safety at the forefront. The efforts made by the GMB in improving training from 2003 are noteworthy.