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Injuries on cruise ship

Submitted by kgnadmin on

On a cruise ship, there are many places with a significant risk of injury. Most companies are spending a lot of money on adequate training to raise awareness about proper behavior and conduct to reduce the number of accidents. Still, there are thousands of injuries on cruise ships worldwide every day. Whenever the crew member steps on board the ship, there is much information about maintaining the safety level on an acceptable scale. 

Yet, it comes down to individual focus; paying attention to specific situations and areas is crucial to avoid getting an injury. Injuries can also happen to the guest or crew members, so nobody is prone to get injured if we don't maintain a high focus level and always remain alert.

Injuries can happen for several reasons, but when you're on a cruise, you can do a few things to avoid them. Remember these safety tips when you take your next cruise. Most cruise ship injuries happen on the ship, but you must also be cautious when you're on shore.

Cabins and bathrooms are high-risk areas for injuries.

Slips, trips, and falls cause the most injuries.

Wear appropriate shoes. Cruise ships are primarily stable, but there's always the potential for rough water. On top of that, cruise ships today have numerous pools and water activities on board, so you'll most likely encounter a slick surface or two. Packing shoes with a good rubber sole and packing other cruise essentials will keep you from slipping or tripping. Also, don't walk barefoot on the ship, no matter how tempting.

 If you are a crew member, always have the proper safety shoes, especially if you work in the slippery areas in the galley, where the floor is made with ceramic tiles. Refrain from trying to replace them with more fancy, better-looking shoes. Your safety is more important than how they look or if some fellow crew member will compliment you for your shoes. Set healthy priorities for yourself all the time.

Be aware of your surroundings. This applies whether you're on a cruise or not. Whenever you go someplace new, familiarize yourself with your surroundings so you can detect any potential hazards and possible exits if an emergency situation arises. In my own experience, I hate when I bump into some fellow crew member who is listening to the iPod and not even hearing myself shouting that there is a big trolley with hundreds of plates just about to hit them from behind. 

Don't run. This isn't as much of an issue for adults, but if you have children, remind them not to run from place to place. Someone running can cause injuries not only to themselves but also to others.

For the crew members, if you are late for your work, try to avoid running and use the handrails all the time. The crew stairs are much steeper than the guest stairways, especially in between deck B and Deck A. The housekeeping team sometimes cleans the crew stairs, forgetting to put the sign on the slippery floor. If you are not careful, you can sustain serious injury in these circumstances.

Drink alcohol in moderation. One of the perks of being on a cruise when you're over 21 years old is the ready availability of alcohol coupled with the fact that you don't have to worry about driving anywhere. Still, too much alcohol can put you at a higher risk for injuries. By drinking alcohol in moderation, you can keep your wits about you and remain in control if you find yourself in an injury-prone situation. There are a lot of alcohol consumption-related injuries on the cruise ships where I used to work; again, this comes about individual responsibility and a sense of maturity. If you are a crew member, you are there to work, so make the correct decision and always drink responsibly. Even if you are the guest on board the ship, you have to be careful because most injuries happen because of high alcohol consumption.

The crew elevator 

Some accidents can even happen in the elevator out of nowhere. I remember one time when there were 3 of us in the crew elevator on the way down to the I95(DECK 0), and the elevator just suddenly dropped down at full speed. We were shocked and in disbelief; luckily, the elevator suddenly stopped on deck 3 before hitting deck 0 at high speed, probably causing us some serious injuries inside. Be aware of those things, and always expect the unexpected. 

An accident can happen anytime, anywhere. I remember when I went to the toilet on deck 0 near the ship's medical center, and I sneezed very hard, losing my balance on the slippery tiles floor, and hit the metal sink with my left hand. When I got up from the floor, I noticed the massive cut on my left hand and heavy bidding from the impact of the sharp metal sink in the crew toilet. I was just nearby the medical center, but it was closed, so they had to call 911, and I had several stitches later due to heavy bleeding. The last thing I expected was to get injured like that, but things do happen when we expect them the least. Be aware always.

On the port day, before the ship sets sail, the watertight doors will be closed as per ship procedure, mostly 30 minutes before the ship sets sail. This is very dangerous, do not run through the closing watertight doors because if you get trapped, this could end tragically. This is one of the most dangerous scenarios on board the cruise ships, and always be aware of the closing watertight and fire screen doors. Usually, there are members of the fire squad department who supervise this event, but still, be aware and careful. Some accidents are not giving us a second chance; they can be dangerous, so we constantly practice awareness.

The crew Gym on the sea day with the rocky sea condition

Injuries can always happen even when you go to the gym to exercise and keep your healthy mindset. I remember one day when I had an afternoon break from 14h until 16h. I decided to go to the gym and do the bench press. The sea was very rocky, and I was alone in the gym at that time. 

As I was trying to push my limits, I was trying to lift the heavy weight one more time. When I was pushing the last energy to pull the heavyweight, the ship slightly tilted on the left side, and I lost balance totally, falling down from the bench press together with the weight bar stuck on my neck. Trapped and alone in the crew gym, I managed somehow to drag myself out of that crazy situation where I almost lost my breath by being trapped. It happened unexpectedly, but it almost ended tragically, from the silly thing that could have been prevented. Since that happened, I never go to the gym on the rocky sea day. Be mindful and pay attention to those things; the best thing to do is prevention. We can prevent many injuries on the cruise ship if only we pay attention to the little details all the time.

Crew Insights

Articles and experiences shared by crew members working on cruise ship. Find out more about ship life at sea together with tips and advices for first time crew members and cruise oldtimers.