Prevention and Storage

Avoid harmfull chemicals. By this we mean that you only have to use the most necessary amount of the dangerous chemical. In your asessment of how dangerous a chemical is, you have to look at the amount you are going to use and in what way you are going to use it.


The best means of prevention is to avoid harmful substances altogether. That is to say that they should only be used when absolutely necessary and you should as far as possible choose the least harmful products. In addition to agreeing the quantities to be used, working methods should also be included in any assessment. It may be that heat is required which increases evaporation of the product or that aerosols are developed in use. Prevention is aimed at limiting short and long term damaging effects. This is what we are trying to achieve by registering, clearing out and by drawing up a positive list for the products used aboard.
Health and Safety at Sea can be used to organize the chemicals used aboard.

Workplace instructions, the safety data sheet, label and any code number indicate how to prevent contact with chemicals as far as possible.
You should comply with these in order to prevent accidents, injury and illness - in the order stated below:

  1. Total or partial encapsulation of the chemical concerned, such as:
  • Dosing chemicals using pumps and pipes instead of manual handling.
  • Degreasing in ultra-sound tanks which can be closed in operation.
  • Containers with hand pumps to ensure the correct dosage reduce the risk of spillage and make manual pouring from heavy, unwieldy containers unnecessary.
  • Automatic dosage of detergents for industrial washing machines and dishwashers so that it is not necessary to add detergent every time. Detergents may be liquid or in the form of a paste inside a cartridge that is inserted into the dosing system.
  • Containers should be securely fixed so that they do not tip over.

2. Ventilation and local/point extraction to remove contamination caused by fumes, dust, smoke or aerosols.
3. Choose suitable working methods and tools to minimize the risk of direct contact with chemicals.
4. Personal protection such as safety gloves, goggles, breathing equipment and chemical suits. Health & Safety at Sea gives details of the most suitable protection. The supplier must provide this information in the safety data sheet.

Personal protection is an emergency solution but it may prove necessary to use personal protection for jobs outside a fixed workplace, such as painting and chipping rust. But when degreasing with solvents or diesel oil, extraction should be so effective that breathing equipment is unnecessary.

>> Read more about personal protection

Planning and instruction

Try to predict the kind of risks involved in using a particular chemical and plan accordingly to avoid them. Identify the precautions required to deal with the dangers involved in the job, such as ventilation and extraction, tools, personal protection, first-aid equipment and closing off the working area.
Ensure that personnel doing the work have been properly instructed and are familiar with hazard labels and any code numbers. Go through the workplace instructions to ensure that the work is done according to the directions. The personnel doing the work should be familiar with the risks, precautions, use of personal protection and what to do in case of accidents.
>> Read more about hazard labels
>> Read more about code numbers

Storing chemicals

When storing chemicals, it is important to take account of the following:

  • Are there any chemicals which must not come into contact with each other, and which must therefore not be stored together?
  • Are there any special requirements caused by their inflammable properties?
  • Are there any special storage temperature requirements?
  • What are the storage ventilation requirements?
  • Is all outer packaging suitably labelled?
  • Are all chemicals properly secured?
  • If containers/bottles are packed in drums, make sure that the packaging cannot be damaged by the containers being knocked together in heavy seas.
  • Are all chemicals stored in tightly-closed packaging?

The safety date sheet gives details of the first four points.

Senior Occupational Health Consultant

Anne L. Ries

+45 3311 1833

+45 2961 8860

I can help you with:

  • Safety Organization
  • Consultancy
  • Physical working environment
  • The program Health and Safety at Sea
  • Legislation at sea