Employees working on barge decks face dangerous hazards that can cause serious injuries and death. Slips, trips, and falls are major contributors to the injuries that occur on barges. According to the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) publication on Barge Deck Safety, factors that may cause these slips, trips, and falls vary. Gear and equipment on the deck, changing walking speed and direction, fatigue, carrying heavy objects, visibility and unsuitable footwear all are common reasons for slips, trips, and falls. Slippery surfaces on the decks, possibly from water, oil, and ice, provide very dangerous conditions to workers as well.
Preventative measures should be taken to protect workers from slipping on barge decks. According to OSHA, review the following checklist to ensure your barge deck is safe from slips, trips, and falls:
- Keep all walking areas clean, dry, and free from debris
- Clean up and report any spills immediately
- Stack materials in a stable manner
- Secure gear and equipment while it is not in use
- Keep stairs, doorways, and walkways free of equipment and stowed material
- Secure ramps during loading and offloading operations
- Repair leaks from hoses, valves and pipelines immediately
- Use a non slip protective deck and do not paint over the non-slip compound with standard paint
- Have de-icing procedures prepared for when necessary
- Paint the perimeter of the barge and tipping hazards a contrasting color
Employees should use the following OSHA checklist to understand how to safely walk on a barge deck to prevent slips, trips, and falls:
- Walk at a normal rate, and keep your hands out of your pockets
- Slow down when moving between different surfaces
- Do not run
- Minimize short stops and avoid sharp turns
- Modify your way of walking to match the surface, such as an icy deck
- Do not step on hatch covers
- Avoid walking along the unguarded edge of the barge deck
- Watch out for conditions that reduce visibility due to weather or lighting
Galvanized steel floor plates will play a key role in preventing your employees from slipping, tripping, and falling on a barge deck. The SlipNOT® permanent non slip solution will withstand the harsh environment barges are constantly facing while keeping workers on their feet.
“Barge Deck Safety.” Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 2009. Web. <http://www.osha.gov/Publications/3358deck-barge-safety.pdf>.