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During work in and around water, there is a risk of drowning, for instance when working on ships, wharfs or platforms at sea. 

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The fall into the water can be fatal, so it is important to have fall protection. Hypothermia is another great risk. Even when the water is 10° C, your heart can stop within an hour. In addition, there is risk of drowning through the current, waves or because the victim is unconscious. To guarantee safety, in many work situations, wearing a life vest is recommended or even compulsory. 


What is a life jacket?
A life jacket is a device that keeps people afloat. The advantage compared to other floating devices is that a life jacket also corrects a person’s posture, making sure that the face is always above water, even when the person is unconscious. 

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How does it work?

Floating capacity
An official life jacket meets the EN12402 standard, although the sub-standard varies per situation. The standardization is closely linked to the floating capacity, which is expressed in Newton: the reverse gravity pushing you to the surface. The standardization was updated in 2006, but we also list the old standards here. 

Activation
A life jacket only fills with air when you end up in the water. There are two activation methods: semi-automatic, by pulling a cord, and fully automatic. We only provide the automatic version, whereby the life jacket is activated as soon as it comes into contact with water, using either a melting capsule or a system based on water pressure. In both cases, there is also a redundant failsafe cord with which the life jacket can be activated manually. 

What requirements are set on board?
  • Before a ships leaves port, all rescue equipment has to be visually checked and be ready for use. 
  • There has to be a monthly visual inspection for external damage to the rescue equipment present on the ship. 
  • All checks and maintenance activities have to be logs in a ship register. 
  • In case of damage, or once a year, a complete maintenance by a certified organization has to take place. 
  • Standard floating suits require no maintenance, except in case of damage to the suit. In the case of life jackets or suits with inflatable chambers, maintenance is necessary. 
  • CE-certified inflatable chambers have to be inspected and maintained annually by the manufacturer or a competent local organization in the interval indicated by the manufacturer. 
  • SOLAS-certified inflatable life jackets have to be services annually by an MCA-certified and registered maintenance center, keeping a journal for each individual life jacket. 

Standardizations:

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Icoon Norm Drijfvermogen Benaming Toelichting
EN12402-5
Old standard: EN393
50 Newton Floating device Use in demarkated water where floating objects can threaten the user, where help is near and if the user is an experienced swimmer.
EN12402-4
Old standard: EN395
100 Newton Life jacket Suitable at sea or in rough weather conditions. This vest will turn you on your back within 5 seconds.
EN12402-3
Old standard: EN396
150 Newton Life jacket Suitable when wearing light clothes. Use at sea or in rough weather conditions. This vest will turn you on your back within 5 seconds.
EN12402-2
Old standard: EN399
275 Newton Life jacket Use at sea or in rough weather conditions, when wearing protective clothing or heavy equipment. This vest will turn you on your back within 5 seconds.
SOLAS Regulation III/32.3     The equipment meets the Marine Equipment Directive, indicated with a ‘ship’s rudder’ logo. Obligatory on all EU ships of 500 tons or more. 

Our brands:

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Combinations

In work situations, there are often multiple risks. That is why we try to combine multiple protections in one product. Our product range includes multi-standard life jackets, that protect against hypothermia, falling, voltage arcs and weld spatter. That way, you won’t have to wear different layers of protective clothing, and maintain your freedom of movement and work comfortably. 
 

Advice

Can't figure it out? Please call me for additional advice. It is important that you make a safe choice!

Batina - Operational PPE-adviser
+31 184 434 455  info@veiliggoed.nl
 

Who we are
VeiligGoed in a nutshell

Read more about our mission and services

Fall protection
Work at height? Use the safest tools!

All information about our fall protection

Risk of drowning
Prevent a fall in the water

Everything about standards, legislation and effective measures

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