Seatrans AS Increases Safeguards for Crew MembersBy Concateno Plc, PRNE
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Concateno Selected to Support Crew Welfare With New Benzene Monitoring Test
BERGEN, Norway and LONDON, February 25, 2010 - Concateno, Europe's most experienced chemical, drug and
alcohol testing provider with 20 years' experience in the maritime industry,
has been selected by Norwegian shipping company, Seatrans AS, to monitor the
potential exposure of its seafaring crew to benzene.
(Photo: www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100225/379289-a )
(Photo: www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100225/379289-b )
Concateno provides a unique service for monitoring personnel
for benzene, and its maritime test service was runner up in the 'Safety at
Sea' Seatrade Awards last year.
Appointed by Seatrans, Concateno will establish and implement
an effective programme to test and monitor benzene levels among crew members
and assess the risk of exposure onboard Seatrans vessels.
Erik Mohn, crew manager at Seatrans, said: "The health and
safety of our employees is paramount and we must ensure that every sensible
precaution is taken to avoid risks. Without the services of Concateno's
biomonitoring testing, risks of benzene exposure are invisible and impossible
to identify. This new procedure allows us to rapidly screen at-risk
individuals to ensure our operations are safe.
"Benzene monitoring onboard our vessels will enhance our
strict health and safety procedures and help to confirm the effectiveness of
our safety procedures."
Benzene is a chemical that is commonly used in industrial and
manufacturing processes, but it is highly toxic and can cause a range of
diseases including cancer, and can affect human DNA. Long-term low level
exposure can lead to serious health problems such as leukaemia, however, even
short-term exposure to low levels can be irritating to eyes, cause
drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion and in
some cases unconsciousness. Exposure to high concentrations can result in
death. It is mostly ingested into the body by inhalation, but can also be
absorbed through the skin.
The recent tightening of international regulations relating to
benzene exposure and seafarer welfare has lead to increased adoption of
chemical testing and monitoring programmes in the shipping industry.
Changes to SOLAS regulation VI/ 5-1 regarding Material Safety
Data Sheet (MSDS) provision for the shipment of MARPOL Annex 1 cargoes came
into effect in January 2010. This information highlights the presence of
benzene in crude oil, bunker oil and a number of other cargoes. It then
details the actions required to reduce attendant risks from exposure to this
In addition, the new Maritime Labour Convention, which was
adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in February 2006, has
been designed to ensure the highest standards of healthcare, safety and
welfare for seafarers. This is expected to come into effect in 2011.
Graham Birch, head of sales for Concateno's Maritime sector,
said: "Since we have added a low-cost, sensitive benzene specific test to our
range of services, the self-test kits have been quickly taken up by shipping
companies across the world. Many vessels keep a stock of the kits on board in
case an accident or collision occurs that might involve exposure to benzene.
Test kits are not just required after accidents and emergencies, however, but
can also be used to monitor crew members after normal work duties, such as
"The advantage of this test is its simplicity - all you need
is in one easy-to-use plastic container. A small amount of urine is required
in the vials provided, with all the necessary bio-packaging for ready
dispatch to the laboratory. Analysis takes a few hours and the results can be
faxed or emailed within two days of receipt.
"Our network of staff across all the major shipping routes and
international petrochemical locations, along with the self-test kits, allows
companies to benefit from easy access to this top-rated benzene exposure
As the largest and most experienced provider to the global
maritime industry, Concateno runs fleet-wide drug testing programmes for many
international shipping companies. The company also retains an international
network of sample collection officers to ensure that testing can be carried
out in many ports around the globe.
Images: Courtesy of Seatrans
Caption 1: Concateno will monitor benzene levels among crew
members and assess the risk of exposure onboard Seatrans vessels.
Caption 2: Benzene monitoring onboard Seatrans vessels will
enhance its strict health and safety procedures.
Concateno (www.concateno.com) is built upon the
consolidation of Europe's strongest and most expert drug testing companies.
Combined, the organisation's services, products and facilities form a global
first in the field: a service provider with the capability to deliver test
programmes to meet any requirement - from point-of-care instant tests,
through to state-of-the-art laboratory analysis for any biological specimen
including urine, oral fluids, hair and sweat.
Concateno's 370 employees perform and deliver more than 10
million tests annually. Additionally an integrated network of 600 sample
collection officers, trained in-house in chain-of-custody procedures,
supports approximately 8,500 clients around the world.
Committed to the highest levels of accreditation and quality
assurance, Concateno works actively within the industry to improve existing
best practice. This includes ISO 17025 (independently audited by UKAS),
ISO9001:2000, Link-Up, and ISO13485:2003. In addition, the company is subject
to a range of external and internal quality assurance programmes.
In August 2009, Concateno became a subsidiary of Inverness
Medical Innovations Inc.
About Inverness Medical Innovations
By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis,
monitoring and health management, Inverness Medical Innovations enables
individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life.
Inverness' global leading products and services, as well as its new product
development efforts, focus on infectious disease, cardiology, oncology, drugs
of abuse and women's health. Inverness is headquartered in Waltham,
Massachusetts. For more information about Inverness Medical Innovations,
please visit our website at www.invernessmedical.com.
For more information regarding Concateno and for details about research
into the effects of benzene exposure, please contact:
Carrie Lowe or Matt Trace Telephone: +44(0)1962-893-893 Mobile: +44(0)7554-014-188 / +44(0)7828-663-988 Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Carrie Lowe or Matt Trace, Telephone: +44(0)1962-893-893, Mobile: +44(0)7554-014-188 / +44(0)7828-663-988, Email: carrie.lowe at concateno.com / matthew.trace at concateno.com
Tags: Bergen, Concateno Plc, February 25, Norway, Norway And London, United Kingdom