Like most shipyard employees, shipfitters may work with substances or processes that have the potential for creating overexposure to substances in the workplace. The risk of overexposure is particularly a concern when shipfitting operations are performed in enclosed and confined spaces. The danger of overexposure, for example, may come from inhalation of welding fumes (see Hot Work SHIPS (PDF*)) or working near potentially harmful substances or materials. In addition to controlling exposures through proper exhaust ventilation, respiratory protection also may be necessary. The risk of overexposure to harmful substances also can occur through dermal absorption. Where such risk exists, protective clothing is necessary to protect employees. Prevention of overexposure requires both recognition of the potential hazard and knowledge of the various prevention methods, including providing adequate washing facilities, and prohibitions against eating, drinking, and smoking in work areas to prevent recontamination and cross-contamination.
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