Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the UIB collaborate in risk prevention in the boat maintenance sector

The Regional Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Joaquin Garcia, and the rector of the University of the Balearic Islands, Llorenç Huguet, sign an agreement of collaboration in matters of health and safety at work, focused on hygienic risks in the boat maintenance sector.The agreement will include a joint study to analyze the hygienic risks in the Balearic companies dedicated to maintenance, painting and preparation of surfaces on boats, one of the internationally most representatives sectors of the industrial network in the islands.

Minister Garcia emphasized the collaboration between the public and private sectors and added that "with this agreement, our region will be a pioneer by developing a reference guide according to which the sector can develop its risk prevention".

It will be an innovative study, in which the Professorship of Labour Safety of the UIB and the department of Industrial Hygiene at the Directorate General of Health and Safety at Work collaborate by analyzing the working conditions of the above mentioned sectors from the industrial hygiene point of view: exposure to chemical contaminants arising from the use of paints, varnishes, biocides, primers, and physical contaminants like noise and vibrations.

It must be taken into account that the activity of boat maintenance requires highly specialized technical skills as well as knowledge of the products and equipment, as their special characters leave the workers exposed to risk factors for professional illnesses.9 companies from the sector collaborate voluntarily in the study, providing samples of such contaminants as particulate matter, crystalline silica, organic vapors, fibers, metals, etc.. and information of working condition like illumination, ventilation, environmental conditions etc.

The study and the analysis of all the collected information will provide a base for the correct measures to protect the health and safety of the workers and will be elaborated further into guidelines for the companies of the sector, which will increase their competitiveness.

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