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  • Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

    Somewhere on this forum was mentioned that the engine room can be a hot and humid place, as well as noisy. Hot and humid I can take but I am concerned about the noise levels. There is some research published on the internet that working in the engine room can lead to noise induced hearing loss. The noise in the engine room is usually above the safe level of 85dB and can peak at around 120dB when even as little as one minute of exposure with no ear protection can be damaging to your hearing. I watched a number of videos on youtube and was surprised to see that some people walk around the engine room without any ear muffs/defenders (earplugs maybe or just don't care?). Now, I know that most engineers these days would use ear muffs but wouldn't you have to take them off when someone is talking (yelling) at you, especially, let's say, during training when you're a cadet and you have to learn things? How do engineers/cadets view this? Is it a risk/problem for the engine crew or something you just have to accept?
    In the past I have worked with a chainsaw (110dB) 4-5 hours at a time and as long as I had my ear muffs on the noise didn't bother me, but taking them off whilst sawing was unbearable even if for a moment or two.

    Thanks for any replies

  • #2
    Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

    All persons should wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment / safety gear) as appropriate and required for the situation at hand.

    Engine rooms are bloody noisey however you are 9or at least should be) supplied with the correct ear defenders for the space, ear defenders come in different types and protection levels, from the thin yellow ones for chipping and light noise to the Engineers ones (Peltor HY10) or similar. Each is approved for differnt noise levels and exposure times.

    Some people dont like wearing them, some people occasionally pop into a machine pace so dont both, however engineers in there all the time ought to be wearing ears defenders all the time, more fool those who dont and more fool those who dont pick them up for it.

    As for hearing, you'd be suprised what can be hear through ear defenders when talking to one another, however the established method is you put your ear near the mouth of the speaker and they yell it really is that simple! If it's long and complicated thing you are doing or being shown then you ought to be told roughly what you will be doing etc BEFORE you set off, and you should certainly ask questions on your return (this is of course idealised somewhat but you get the idea)

    Carrying a note book help,s not for passing notes but to write stuff down that you may want to ask about later etc.

    20 years doing this job and still got hearing as good as the day i started, I know this cos I just had my medical and he decided to test me So ear defenders do work and should be used, those being macho will only have themselves to balme later in life.
    Trust me I'm a Chief.

    Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
    Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
    No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


    Twitter:- @DeeChief

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    • #3
      Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

      I found that a selection of hand signals and facial expressions replaces talking in the noisy environments Chiefy pretty much explained it all though, you might be provided with **** ones when your at sea which might not be good enough for protection, so bringing your own could be an option! Some of the older engineers could tell you that there was little ear protection 'back in the day' and most of them have some kind of hearing problems, all the more reason to keep protected
      http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000NNEM76%3 ... B000NNEM76
      there a great set of ear defenders which will keep your lugs protected
      Life at sea is a life for me

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      • #4
        Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

        WHAT? HALF PAST FOUR! I SAID, HALF PAST FOUR! OH, NEVER MIND!

        Yes, they are noisy. What Chiefy said covers it; anyone not wearing ear protection of some kind is an edjit. The folk in the videos will probably have earplugs in, if access is restricted to something you need to work on, earplugs are better than muffs(stop sniggering at the back).
        '... English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't
        just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages
        down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for
        new vocabulary.' - James Davis Nicoll

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        • #5
          Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

          I am already partially deaf, which I guess has its pros and cons..
          Forum Admin

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          • #6
            Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

            Great replies. Thanks guys! That sort of puts my mind at ease (it does look like a rather harsh environment to work in, especially compared to deck ) although I wish I could visit an engine room and see how things are for myself. How are the noise levels in the ECR? I understand that it's somewhat soundproof but still noisy (at least that's what I got from the videos). Also, I read that some engine people say that the sound of engines is like music to their ears and they love it. One of my concerns is whilst I'm healthy and generally fit, occasionally I can get a headache and I wonder how I would cope in a "0800-1700" hot and noisy workplace. I suppose I won't really know until I'm there and maybe I shouldn't worry about such small things but I'm still in the process of choosing between engine and deck (unfortunately both appeal in different ways) and I want to make the right decision. I've been researching both roles for quite some time now but found no solution so far.
            *frustrated*

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            • #7
              Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

              Dont forget the videos give a scewed perspective of the back ground noise in an ECR, the microphones dont work like ears and brains which get very good and blanking out white noise, a bit like your eyes can do when staring at a white space (birght light) I think you get what I mean,
              You arent out in the engine room for the whole period on day work , we do have a brew at 10 and again at 15 o'clock and lunch is 12-13 o'clock, the ECR is air conditioned as may the engine workshop be (but not always),

              Yes I do think you are worrying a little much about some bits

              Heres a tester for you.........Do watch a lot of Discovery channel? Do you like taking stuff apart? Interested in Mythbusters and Scrpheap Challenge? Do you look at things like big bridges / airplanes and wonder "how the bloody hell does that work, stay up etc etc" ? Play with lego when a kid? If so may I suggest an engineer you be...... Though they arent an exclusive set of test, however ...............
              Trust me I'm a Chief.

              Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
              Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
              No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


              Twitter:- @DeeChief

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                Thanks, Chief! Yeah, I thought that the videos don't really give the "true" sound, I know what you mean about the microphones and how they record sound/distortion, etc.

                I do watch Discovery, Mythbusters, Mighty Ships, Massive Engines, Extreme Engineering and such, and have always been interested in engineering and how things work but I also wanted to be a pilot. One of the reasons I chose a physics degree over engineering is I wanted to know how things work (in a very detailed way) but later realised that I'm more interested in the applied/practical side. I suppose I already know what I want, it's just a matter of putting all my doubts to rest. I'm currently in the process of finishing and sending off a few applications but it looks like I'm a bit late for the September intake.

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                • #9
                  Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                  As chiefy said about the ECR and breaks, hes right there! every crew is diffrent, being a cadet you might get easier working times. some ECR's can be quite noisy, my last ship had a vibration problem on the bulkhead next to the ECR, and at times it was quieter in the engine room! if you go on slow 2 stroke engines, the piston strokes can usually be heard through the superstructure, my chief swore gold he could tell a faulty injector by the sound of it from his cabin at nights!
                  Life at sea is a life for me

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                  • #10
                    Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                    Brimbo I would put money on it, I can tell when the tappits on the Gennys need re-setting, and once you get a feel for a ship you can feel a slowdown (main engine trip etc) before the alarms system can tell you (but only by a fraction of a second )

                    All very "wax on...wax off"
                    Trust me I'm a Chief.

                    Views expressed by me are mine and mine alone.
                    Yes I work for the big blue canoe company.
                    No I do not report things from here to them as they are quite able to come and read this stuff for themselves.


                    Twitter:- @DeeChief

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                      the 'wise sensai' knows best! its defiantly a strange feeling being able to hear every piston stroke from your cabin at nights !
                      Life at sea is a life for me

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                      • #12
                        Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                        sounds similar to getting a feel for your car. Once you know your car, you can always tell when something is a little off. Lost count of the amount of times i've heard or felt something a little off miles before the engine management light comes on
                        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way". --- Captain John Paul Jones, 1778.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                          What type of ships are best to train on for engine cadets? Offshore, LNG carriers, oil tankers, cruise, box boats? Does it really matter once you finish your cadetship?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                            I can't imagine that it makes too much of a difference. I think its engine size that matters (cue childish laughing)
                            "We're not pirates, We're preemptive nautical salvage experts"

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                            • #15
                              Re: Questions for Engineers (Cadets & Officers)

                              It's not type, it's age of he vessel. Going on a brand new spanking vessel is pointless as there is so much automation you won't actually do all that much "hands on" work (operation wise).

                              Go on a 30 year old vessel with minimal automation and everything is "hand-a-matic" and is the best way to learn (operation wise).
                              I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                              All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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