Skip to content

Room 6

Work in the shipyard – safety yesterday and today

The key themes of this hall are the work and development of the technologies applied to the construction of a ship, with an eye to safety and asbestos issues, through a description of the working conditions of the past and the present.The room is also used for in-depth educational activities thanks to a large touch screen and interactive multimedia content. Called for this reason “didactic island”, the station allows access to content and historical evidence to groups and schoolchildren. Designed to be constantly updated with new issues, it allows access to topics of great importance and complexity (such as safety and risks of the past related to asbestos) even to a young audience.

In the past

In the past, hull parts were assembled on the slipways. The ship was built deck by deck by loading metal sheets or small prefabricated parts. Having to work on a sloping surface made it all the more difficult.

In the past, the mould loft had a key role in the ship building process. Before the advent of information technology and laser cutting machines, this is where every part of the ship took shape, starting with a hand drawing and the ability of highly skilled staff. 

The Monfalcone shipyard pioneered the use of welding in the shipbuilding industry; built for the Italian Royal Navy between 1933 and 1934, the small motor tanker Sesia was the first fully welded ship in Italy. 

The prevention of accidents at work played a major role in the history of the shipyard and led to constant dialogue between the company and unions, with the purpose to improve the safety of workers in the yard. Over more than a hundred years, many steps have been taken to improve the safety of workers, from the use of personal protective equipment to monitoring the healthiness of the site. Because shipyard workers often work at heights, accidents due to falls have always been the main cause of the most serious – and in some cases deadly – injuries. However, even the smallest distraction can lead to serious consequences, which is why it is crucial to build a culture of safety and make all workers more aware.