April 28 is World Work Safety Day. What does the Law say and what are the health tips for offshore and home office workers?

Junior Aguiar
27-04-2022 11:42:40
in Labor Legislation
offshore worker on oil rig complying with the Labor Safety Act Being away from home and family for a long time is a real mental challenge | Image: EBC via Google

The 2017 Labor Reform says that every employer must guide employees on the prevention of risks of accidents and diseases involving the work environment.

Working in offshore assets is attractive and full of adventure. However, being away from home and family for a long time, surrounded by water on a floating platform, is a real psychological challenge for the worker. Therefore, in addition to the risks of the function itself to which each employee is subject, it is important to take care of the mind. This Thursday (28) is celebrated throughout the world the Day of Safety and Health of the Worker. To solemnize the date, we are going to detail what the Law on Offshore Work Safety says and in relation to the home office modality, which is now regulated.

In July 2017, the Law No. 13,467, call again Labor Reform. The text amended the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT), approved by Decree-Law No. 5452/43, and Laws No. 6019/74, 8036/90 and 8212/91, adapting the Legislation to the new labor relations.

Among other rules, the 2017 Labor Reform says that the employer must instruct employees, expressly and ostensibly, regarding the precautions to be taken in order to avoid occupational diseases and accidents. The employee, in turn, must sign a term of responsibility, committing to follow such instructions (article 75).

Safety tips and rules for offshore workers

There are several types of professionals in the most varied activities on oil platforms. Therefore, it is important to remember that for each function, there are specific accident prevention rules. Therefore, it is essential that employees undergo a period of training related to the role they will develop and in relation to Work Safety practices.

Proper use of PPE

The use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a duty of every professional. Therefore, use them daily and advise your colleagues to use them as well to minimize the risk of accidents as much as possible. The basic PPE used on offshore platforms are:

  • Boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Hearing protection
  • helmet with jugular
  • Gloves
  • face shields
  • Life jackets
  • Seat belts
  • immersion clothing

How to prevent fire accidents on the platforms of oil

  • Prevent the accumulation of oils, greases and fuels in basements, on electrical instruments and other high temperature equipment
  • Avoid storing clothes and rags near electrical equipment
  • Never operate electrical equipment that is overloaded.
  • Do not use chemical and/or flammable products near working electrical equipment or in places that operate with high temperature.
  • Do not store used oils for inappropriate use
  • Never weld or cut materials without someone to support you with a fire extinguisher.

Have a good relationship on board ships and offshore platforms

It is essential to maintain good relationships on board to preserve physical and mental health. Offshore platforms are intense social environments. The worker lives in the workplace, making colleagues his family members as well. Good living practices are:

  • Know how to listen and what to say
  • Have patience with colleagues
  • Reflect on colleagues' ideas if they are positive for the work environment
  • Avoid aggressive jokes and jokes
  • Appreciate teamwork
  • Respect colleagues' rest

Always hydration

The fact that they are far from the coast, oil platforms receive a lot of sun. Being exposed for a long time to solar radiation can cause skin diseases, dehydration and even heat stroke. So drink plenty of water and use sunscreen!

Other basic safety tips for working on oil platforms and ships

  • Do not run when going up or down stairs and remember to use the handrail
  • Always consult the Safety Data Sheet before handling any chemical.
  • Always obey area isolation signs on a suspended load
  • Wear clean clothes in cafeterias and play areas
  • Report immediately if you notice anything or situation that possibly compromise the safety and health of people or the environment
  • Avoid smoking
Image: Connect via Google

Rights and duties of the home office worker in relation to safety and health

In times of “new normal”, the home office has been consolidated once and for all in Brazil and is now covered by labor rules and Work Safety. Created in 2011, the Law 12,551 already equated the legal effects of those who worked remotely to those who worked at the employer's establishment.

To consolidate teleworking once and for all, in March 2022 the Executive Branch signed the Provisional Measure No. 1,108 which regulates the rules for working from home.

Work safety and health tips for home office workers

As we saw above, employees must be instructed, by law, to avoid accidents at work and/or have psychological problems. Regarding psychosocial factors, the “Mind Health & Pandemic” survey, made by Noz Pesquisa e Inteligência in partnership with the Bem Estar Institute, pointed out that in 2021, 59% of people said they were irritated even though they worked without leaving home.

To minimize the risks of mental illness and accident risks while working from home, the worker can adopt the following tips:

  • Do not overload the sockets: the ideal is to use in-line and fused electrical extensions. Also, when not using an appliance, unplug it from the wall outlet.
  • Adjust chair height for good posture: When sitting, both feet should touch the floor, with knees at 90 degrees. Avoid straining your shoulders, and your elbows should also be at 90 degrees. The chair must have lumbar support
  • Choose and organize a pleasant place: the room should be as far away from the street as possible. Take advantage of sound-absorbing furniture and upholstery and make the environment pleasant with rugs and curtains. If you live with someone else, ask for their collaboration. Also, keep the place clean and organized.
Source: GT Fire – work safety consultancy and fire and panic safety projects

Safety at work goes far beyond avoiding accident risks, says expert

THE GT Fire company is a worker safety and health consultancy and specialist in fire and panic safety projects. Among the most varied services on its menu, the company promotes courses and lectures that guide workers on good practices in the work environment.

GT Fire's CEO and safety engineer, Thiago Barbachan, says that Work Safety measures go far beyond avoiding the risk of accidents in the work environment.

“We must also be concerned with the Health of the Worker, to minimize possible damage that the work activity can cause. For this, we will be concerned with the salubrity of the work environment, often related to excessive noise, proper posture, care with repetitive efforts, ambient lighting. In this way, it is very important, in addition to constant training, to practice Attention at Work, Keep the workplace clean and organized, pay attention to your attitudes and also those of your colleagues”

Thiago Barbachan – GT Fire CEO and safety engineer

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Junior Aguiar
Journalist, graduated from the Catholic University of Pernambuco | Web content producer, analyst, strategist and communication enthusiast.