Brazil regulates the ship breaking activity

The naval industry employs more than 45,600 formal workers distributed in 964 companies, according to RAIS 2015.

Ship breaking is a regulated activity in Brazil. By means of Ordinance No. 790, published on June 9, the Ministry of Labor (MTb) amended Regulatory Standard No. 34 (NR34) on working and environmental conditions in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry. One of the changes is the regulation of the ship breaking activity, whose work was being carried out without any legal certainty for the employer and worker protection.

“It is an activity with great potential for growth. There are idle structures in the shipyards that can be used to generate income and employment in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Bahia and Rio Grande do Sul, where there is a strong naval industry. In addition, there are other small yards on the river banks that make restorations,” said the Labor Minister Ronaldo Nogueira.

According to the latest survey of the Annual Social Information Report (Rais) 2015, the naval industry employs more than 45600 workers with a formal contract distributed in 964 companies.

According to the general coordinator of Normatization and Programs, Elton Machado B. Costa, the impact of the resolution can be much greater, since the outsourced workers did not take part in the RAIS.

The need for this service is increasing due to the aging of the Brazilian vessels. He also states that the sector has reduced in size in recent years with the economic and political crisis, so the regulation for ship breaking and repair activity comes in good time.

New safety requirements

Ordinance No. 790 also brings news to the naval industry regarding safety and minimum protection measures for the workers exposed to ionizing radiation. Among the new requirements are: radioprotection plan before the beginning of the services involving ionizing radiation; and designation of a Radiation Protection Supervisor (SPR) responsible for supervising the work with exposure to ionizing radiation.