Chemicals. Take care of yourself and others – from knowledge to practice
The film was made on board four different ships. We chose ships of different sizes and types in order to show how a variety of work environments where health and safety concerns regarding chemicals are central.
We portrayed different normal work situations, choosing the most common, so that these scenarios would be recognizable to as many seafarers as possible.
We chose to communicate good practices about handling chemicals on board, rather than illustrating how not to do it, as has been the practice with in the industry earlier.
In our story, we also present possible consequences of handling chemicals if preventive measures are not taken. We focused primary on one health effect, skin irritation or allergy, because this is a common health hazard connected to working with chemicals. We do this by playing on emotions. We show different families, two patients and an occupational medical doctor to underline the seriousness of these hazards.
We chose to have 3 parts in the film, so they only have to see the part that is relevant for their job on board. The 3 parts are:
1. Paint on deck (18 min)
2. Oil and chemicals in the engine room (18 min)
3. Cleaning products in the accommodation (20 min)
You can also choose to see the whole film with all 3 sections (31 min).
All seafarers on Danish flagged ships.
We wish to encourage seafarers to seek information on the chemicals they handle and it is particularly important that the film is able to “speak” to the educational level that most ratings have, corresponding to primary school. In addition, it is our goal that viewers are able to identify with their colleagues and the situations portrayed in the film.
We try to evoke a sense of “this could be me” by showing seafarers from many different countries (Ukraine, Poland, Philippines and Denmark) in the film, as this is characteristic of seafarer’s social work environment.
The overall aim of creating this film was to motivate the crew to prevent short and long term (adverse) effects when handling chemicals. By telling a story, we would like to show why it is important to take care: Working with chemicals can be very dangerous. Even working with normal cleaning agents every day can give skin irritation or allergy. It is not a life-shortening disease but it can be invalidating and lower quality of life or even lead to job loss. We believe that knowledge about how to properly handle chemicals is the way to avoid short and long term effects. While we cannot give all details that are necessary to handle a specific chemical properly in the film, we can hopefully inspire seafarers to seek the appropriate information when handling a new chemical. Furthermore, the instructor should know a lot more about the chemicals so that he is able to plan tasks in a safe and sound manner. For this purpose, we have created an instructor’s booklet as a supplement to the film. There are legal requirements from the Danish Maritime Authority for training when working with chemicals. The film and the supplementary instructor’s booklet fulfill these requirements.
Reading about chemicals in another language than your mother tongue can be very difficult. Thus, we chose to let pictures in a film tell the story instead.
We as experts in Health and Safety often want to give too much information and knowledge but we have chosen to make a relatively simple film for everyone on board, because if the film is overloaded with information it could be difficult to understand.
As an appetizer we have put a film-trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8L3sRbvPRk
Amaliegade 33B, 2. fl.
Casper Strunge Andersen Aps
Godthåbsvej 8A, 4 tv