OSHA Publishes Deck Barge Safety Guidance Document, Spud Barge Fact Sheet

Slips, trips, falls, fire, and falling overboard are among the major safety topics addressed in two new OSHA online publications designed to protect maritime industry employees. The Deck Barge Safety Guidance Document (PDF) was developed to educate employers and employees on preventing injuries and illnesses from hazards associated with deck barges.

Other topics mentioned in the document are machinery and equipment, confined or enclosed spaces, and training.

The Spud Barge Safety Fact Sheet (PDF) lists three methods that can prevent the spuds, which are vertical steel shafts that hold deck barges in place, from accidentally dropping or slipping. The fact sheet also offers safety measures for employers and employees working on barges and towing vessels.

Both publications were produced as a result of a 2006 barge-related accident that caused five fatalities. Both the guidance document and the fact sheet identify the connection between proper controls, procedures, and training, and they also seek to increase awareness of hazards and identify solutions to prevent injuries and fatalities.

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