These FAQs provide further information to support the NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers and should be read in conjunction with the guidelines.
These FAQs are intended for any person who is working at NSW Ports where international vessels arrive, as well as international maritime crew on board international vessels.
People working at NSW ports, including those who are required to board international vessels and international maritime crew on board international vessels who are required to disembark for essential tasks, must also comply with the NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers. These guidelines provide recommended levels of personal protective equipment (PPE) based on the interactions maritime workers have with international maritime crew.
These FAQs provide further information to support the NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers.
'Donning' is the process of putting on your PPE.
'Doffing' is when you remove and dispose of your used PPE.
It is recommended that you watch the following donning and doffing video, which takes just under 6 minutes. Although the person is in a clinical setting, the steps are the same for a person in the maritime setting.
For further information see the Donning and doffing video. Note the video shows the correct donning and doffing of disposable gloves. Disposable gloves are not mandatory in the maritime setting if adequate hand hygiene can be performed.
This diagram should be used as a guide for the required sequence of putting on and removing PPE.
Some PPE may not be required for your task. Please refer to the
NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers to determine the recommended PPE for your role.
To put on your PPE, follow the procedure below:
To remove your PPE, follow the procedure below:
The donning (putting on PPE) station should be separated from the doffing (removing PPE) station to prevent contamination between the two stations. NSW Health encourages moveable/mobile stations, such as a suitable and cleanable trolley system that can be wheeled around as required.
These two areas should be separated to enable staff to put on and remove their PPE without coming into contact with each other. It is important that used PPE does not touch new/clean PPE, or touch any person trying to put new/clean PPE on.
The doffing station should have an appropriate waste disposal bin with hand sanitiser and single use detergent/disinfectant wipes located nearby. Used disposable PPE is placed into a general waste bin. Hand hygiene should be performed immediately after removing each item of PPE.
The sequence of removing PPE aims to limit opportunities for contamination of the wearer, or the environment/surfaces around them.
Hand hygiene is a way of cleaning your hands that reduces germs. There are two ways to correctly perform hand hygiene
Hand hygiene must be performed:
Please also watch the donning and doffing video mentioned above.
If you are unsure of what PPE you need, ask your employer for guidance and clarification. The level of PPE you wear must not interfere with the safety of your work. Your supervisor or manager can contact the Clinical Excellence Commission for more information via
CEC-QuarantineProgram@health.nsw.gov.au if required.
If you work solely in an office with no interaction with overseas travellers, including not handling items that overseas travellers have handled, PPE is not required unless otherwise advised by NSW Health or your employer.
Disposable surgical masks can be worn for up to four hours. After this time, they are less effective as they become damp with the wearer's breath. However, they must be changed sooner if they become wet or soiled. If you are on board a vessel for a long period of time, make sure to bring additional PPE, alcohol-based hand rub, as well as a sealable bag to place used PPE in.
Most PPE items are single-use and should be safely disposed of after using. Reusable equipment such as protective eyewear must be wiped clean with a suitable detergent and disinfectant wipe/solution, which should be available in the doffing area immediately after removal.
If you do not have contact with international persons and you are not required to board a vessel, you are considered low risk. If you need to handle any items that come off a vessel, make sure to frequently perform hand hygiene before and after handling them. Wear a surgical mask if physical distancing cannot be maintained, as well as any time when it is required in the
NSW Government face mask rules.
All persons entering a NSW wharf should be familiar with the
NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers.
If you need to go on board a vessel, make sure to take your own refreshments, alcohol-based hand rub, additional clean PPE, and a sealable bag for your used PPE with you. Do not accept refreshments or PPE from anyone on board. All food items must be suitably sealed (e.g. unopened packets or sealed containers). The following steps are to be taken when eating or drinking:
All items that need to be taken off board after conducting the essential task must be cleaned and disinfected upon leaving the vessel. This includes laptops, phones, hard hats, etc.
Yes, PPE is still required. All international vessels and persons entering NSW from an overseas location are considered potentially infectious, regardless of how long they have been at sea.
While vaccinations are very effective at preventing the symptoms and transmission of COVID-19, it is still important to wear PPE after being vaccinated.
Make sure you have read and are familiar with the COVID Safe Plan of both the occupier of the wharf and the master of the vessel.
Make sure you have read and are familiar with the NSW Health Guideline: Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment for Maritime Workers.
All NSW-based maritime workers are strongly recommended to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is free and can be booked through the
Australian Government Vaccine Clinic Finder. If you have any
COVID-19 symptoms, get tested at your
nearest convenient testing clinic as soon as possible and self-isolate until you get a negative result.