It was the sinking of the Titanic early last century that brought the world's attention to the importance of lifeboats and lifeboat exercises. Since then, these exercises have become an essential part of maritime life. First, with open lifeboats.

These were fitted with systems that only released when the boat was in the water with no load on the falls; these systems worked well in calm conditions but if there was movement of the sea or the ship, there could be problems release the lifeboat.

To overcome this, on-load release systems were developed. On-load release systems are sophisticated. Their design incorporates many safety features. But, to function safely, they need to be operated and maintained correctly. It is essential to have a full working knowledge of your on-load release systems to operate them and maintain them.

All on-load release systems include a fore and an aft hook assembly by which the lifeboat is suspended. The hook assemblies are linked by cables to the release handle mechanism operated inside the lifeboat. The mechanical arrangements of this handle mechanism are designed to ensure that both hooks are released at the same time.

Most systems feature a hydrostatic release linked to the handle to make certain that it cannot be operated out of the water unless this release is deliberately overridden. We are going to look at the maintenance of on-load release mechanisms...

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Time was, going to the scaffold only meant one thing - sudden death. The thing is that sometimes it still does. When it comes to working on scaffolding, it is easy to imagine some of the things that may go wrong. Maybe you are on a platform with no guardrails, or you have got no safety harness, for instance. But there are plenty of other hazards which are not that obvious.

The sad truth is that deadly mistakes can happen at any of stages of the working process. Even when you are just thinking about what kind of access equipment to use, or designing or erecting the scaffolding, or left alone actually doing the job. So, each and every one of us, if we are involved in height access equipment, it does not matter how, has a responsibility for our own safety and that of the people around us.

It is clear that if you want to keep a risk of the falls and other accidents to a minimum, you need to plan the whole process of working at height. The first step in that process is assessing the risks. Before anyone can work at height, there needs to be a risk assessment. It will help determine the safest way to go about the whole process. Start by looking at the measures which will provide protection for everyone - by controlling access, for example.

After that, think about individual protection, such as protective equipment, where risks can't be further reduced by other means, and make sure that the gear you use is right for the situation. Remember, the process is not over after the initial risk assessment, there is also need for continuing monitoring... 

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The present film is one of the training videos forming a world famous and popular Videotel course. The proper safety training is considered a critically important aspect of every seaman's life. The safety of people working on board seriously relies upon each person following the recognized safety codes and regulations. That is why it is very important to hold the drills, including fire drills, muster drills and survival craft drills on a regular basis and in an effective way. In case of an emergency, the lives of the people on board will directly depend upon their knowledge of the safety procedures and following them.

Reports submitted by the various port state authorities are showing that huge number of vessels that enter their waters are actually not able to effectively carry out all above mentioned drills. The drills are either too relaxed or too long, they are sometimes not done safely and are not taken seriously by the crew members; in some cases, the equipment is poorly maintained. The drills shall be treated as a very serious matter.

Each emergency case is unique and during the emergency situation several different incidents may potentially arise. There can be fire on board and the fires can be of different types requiring different treatment. Launching the lifeboats and rescue boats, in turn, requires particular attention and special approach...

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Accident Files - Entry into Enclosed Spaces

   Four seamen die in fire... Crew missing after collision... Seaman found dead in locker... Three die as ship sinks... Fire kills five seamen... All of these deaths happened and they could be prevented. The number of deaths at sea resulting from entry into enclosed spaces is constantly rising. Such fatalities often take place as a result of the failure to follow the very basic safety procedures. this issue is iof an increasing concern to all maritime authorities. This training is aimes to the shipboard and shore based personnel. It stresses the need for shared responsibility of the ship operators and owners to design effective procedures relating to actual shipboard operations, and implement them, as well as their obligation to ensure the effectiveness of the training.

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Emergency Response on Container Ships (Video)

   Here is another training video - this one is intended to supplement this training booklet on the Emergency Response on Container Ships. Although the training programme addresses specifically container ships, the main messages apply equally to emergency on any type and.or class of ships. Since container ships were introduced in 1960s, the container industry has undergone extraordinary growth. Ship size has increazed dramatically and so have the commercial demands. As a result, today's container ships are running at high level of possible risk. The most common emergencies reported on container ships are fires, which can spread to other parts of the ship, and leaks, posing safety risks to personnel from toxic atmosphere and/or pollution to the marine environment and coastal areas.

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A Seafarer's Guide to Living Life Without Drugs

   This film was produced for the sole purpose of educating seamen against drugs - particularly the life-changing effects and criminal liabilities of its unlawful usage and smuggling. The narrated and re-enacted real life events in this film are personal accounts of interviewees, mostly seamen and their loved ones, who have voluntarily given details of their personal experiences and insights, and how these have affected their lives. May they serve as clear testimonies and lessons to seamen, to properly guide them when confronted with actual situations involving illegal drugs. Life is all about being truly alive. Living with the ones you love. Existing by choosing a purpose. Not a death dose. Not a fatal choice. Say No!...

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Safe Gangway and Ladder Operations (Video)

   On every arrival at port, vessels are boarded by so many people - custom officials, insectors, ship agents, shore crew members and other visitors, They are all to use the gangway, or accommodation letter as the normal means of access - the condition of the gangway often gives people the very first impression of how the vessel is managed. Since the pilots often have to embark/disembark the ship in hazardous conditions, it is essential that the pilot ladder of the ship complies with the highest standards and is properly maintained. In addition to that, it is very important that the crew members are fully aware of the procedures and are able to follow them in the correct manner. The present video film supplements this training booklet.

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Entry into Enclosed Spaces - Part 1 - Awareness (Video)

   The first part of the video traiing course addressing the hazards of the enclosed spaces on board ships. The authors show how to properly recognize the enclosed spaces on the vessel and raise awareness of the associated hazards, focusing on the lack of oxygen. The target audience of the course is deck officers and deck rating, catering, engine room electricians, junior and senior officers, engine room rating etc. The video supplements the booklet of the course.

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