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Staying Safe Aboard The Lady Hopetoun – Docking at Noakes, Berrys Bay

Lady Hopetoun was built in Sydney in 1902, named after the wife of Australia’s first Governor-General, Lord Hopetoun (born John Adrian Louis Hope) (1860-1908).

All those working aboard Lady Hopetoun are committed to keeping the ship functioning as it did in yesteryear, to preserve its beauty and history – much like a living and organic museum.

Representing the grace and style of Edwardian steam launches of her period, Lady Hopetoun is maintained in full operational order by Sydney Heritage Fleet’s volunteers. The vessel is available for charter on Sydney Harbour, in addition to carrying passengers on scheduled Fleet cruises.

As with any vessel, the health and safety of individuals involved directly or indirectly in its operations should be protected at all times. For workers, that includes arming yourself with the right protective equipment, including:

  • Wearing protective clothing such as safety glasses, gloves, cover-alls, ear muffs/plugs, high visibility vests. These should always be worn while working/overseeing/visiting Noakes Shipyard.
  • Appropriate footwear – preferably steel capped work boots
  • Sunscreen

Prior to departure, a number of safety checks and other controls should be carried out, including:

  • Check electrical leads and equipment. Ensure that they are valid Tag/Tested
  • Check working area is safe
  • Straps and Chain Block are tested and that test date is current
  • Block and Tackle- check that they are tested, current and valid
  • Scaffolding – supplied by Noakes shipyard – above one metres harnesses must be worn – above yellow line marks on scaffolding
  • 7” Grinder/Needle Gun
  • Air Compressor, Air Grinder, and Sanders – Pressure 500-600KPa (70 – 80 psi)
  • Air Tools must be oiled as per manufactures recommendation – 3 drops each shift
  • Check for water slipway or slippery areas
  • Check for sufficient lighting for the task to be completed safely

There are a number of associated hazards you might come across while working aboard the Lady Hopetoun – these hazards are present aboard any boating or shipping vessel. One of them, in particular, is the high risk of manual handling injuries such as crushing, lacerations, amputation and back and limb injury, while lifting heavy loads.

The first step in preventing manual handling injuries in the workplace is to find out which job or tasks are likely to cause an injury and to collect information on these, including analysis of injury records to find out the areas and tasks where injuries have occurred, discussion with employees about problems and concerns with specific tasks, and identification of risk factors that are present in particular tasks.

Manual Handling is defined by the Manual Handling Regulations as ‘any activity requiring use of force exerted by a person to lift, push, pull, carry or otherwise move or restrain any animate or inanimate object’.  It is important to follow safe manual handling procedures at all times. This can be achieved by following these simple rules:

  • Where ever and whenever possible, use mechanical means to lift materials i.e. mobile JIB, chain block and slings, forklifts, cranes, hoists, pallet jacks;
  • Request help with heavy or awkward loads if a mechanical lifting aid is not available or practical. Team lifting is not a preferred method for load handling and should only be used as a last resort when mechanical aids cannot be used or the work cannot be redesigned. Workers must be trained in team lifting techniques and adequate numbers of workers must be provided;
  • NEVER take more than you can handle – Lessen the load or ask for help before lifting, make sure your path is dry and clear of objects that could cause a fall;
  • Don’t rush.
  • Know what you are about to do.
  • Where are you carrying the load to?
  • Do you need help?
  • Lift efficiently and rhythmically
  • No jerking movements.
  • Get a good balance. Stand close to the load and centre yourself over it with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles, tighten your buttocks, hold your shoulders back and down
  • Bend your knees and squat down to the floor.
  • Keep your back straight. Lift with your legs and not your back
  • Keep shoulders and face same direction as the hips
  • Avoid unnecessary lifting and twisting
  • Get a good grasp on the load with both hands, use gloves if helpful. Always use the correct glove to suit the task being done – i.e. correct size and type to ensure they do not interfere with gripping ability and manual dexterity
  • When lowering, bend at the knees using only your leg muscles and place the load in the appropriate spot
  • Keeping the load close to your body use your leg muscles to lift in a slow, even motion
  • Keep the load as close to trunk for as long as possible

Ocean Time Marine has developed a Safety Management System (SMS) Software / Template and various other tools to assist commercial vessel operators in managing the risk of accident or injury.


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