General Safety Considerations For The Marine Contractor
When pile driving over water or performing any type of marine construction, there are numerous safety precautions to consider. While the following is only a brief synopsis of some of the more common areas of concern, anyone performing such work should always proceed with caution.
- Ring buoys shall be provided and readily available at intervals not exceeding 200 feet on all structures over water under the course of construction.
- Safety nets and safety harnesses are required
- Where employees are concentrated in groups, there shall be additional ring buoys consisting of not less than 1 additional buoy for every 25 employees in that area. Portable standards or equivalent means to hold the ring buoys in plain view shall be provided.
- Protection against such hazards as reptiles (snakes), alligators, sharks and other animals.
- Life vests, life preservers, and life (ring) buoys;
- All floating rigs, with the exception of small work rafts or pontoons, shall be equipped with at least 2 ring buoys.
- Lifesaving boats, manned boats (motor driven if necessary) shall be provided.
- Adequate toilets, wash stations and the like are readily available on board.
Anchor Handling Barge
- Vessels meeting the definition of anchor handling barge should have:
- All deck surfaces of the pontoon or barge shall be above the water.
- Means for limiting the applied load, such as mechanical means or marking the draft of the barge corresponding to the rated load, shall be provided. Calculations shall be available and the barge shall be tested to verify rated load.
- A ratchet and pawl shall be provided for releasing the load from the hoisting machinery brake.
- An operating manual/procedure shall be available for use by the operator. The operator shall be trained in the anchor handling barge systems operation.
- If an additional external load is superimposed above that which can be hoisted with the onboard hoisting machinery, then a chain stopper shall be used to remove the external load from the A-frame and hoist machinery.
- An anchor handling barge may be used for anchor handling low lifting of loads such as anchor buoys/weights, dredge pipe, submerged pipeline, pontoons, and other loads provided they do not exceed the load rating of the anchor barge. If used for any other lifting application, the work platform will be considered a floating derrick.
- Ramps for access of vehicles to or between barges shall be of adequate strength, provided with sideboards, well maintained, and properly secured.
- Unless employees can step safely to or from the wharf, float, barge, or river towboat, either a ramp or a safe walkway, shall be provided.
- Jacob’s ladders (marine rope or chain ladder) shall be of the double rung or flat tread type. They shall be well maintained and properly secured.
- A Jacob’s ladder shall either hang without slack from its lashings or be pulled up entirely.
- When the upper end of the means of access rests on or is flush with the top of the bulwark, substantial steps properly secured and equipped with at least one substantial handrail approximately 33 inches in height, shall be provided between the top of the bulwark and the deck.
- Obstructions shall not be laid on or across the gangway.
- The means of access shall be adequately illuminated for its full length
- Unless the structure makes it impossible, the means of access shall be so located that the load will not pass over employees
Barge First-Aid and Lifesaving Equipment
- Provisions for rendering first aid and medical assistance shall be in accordance with Subpart D of this part.
- The employer shall ensure that there is in the vicinity of each barge in use at least one U.S. Coast Guard-approved 30-inch life ring with not less than 90 feet of line attached, and at least one portable or permanent ladder which will reach the top of the apron to the surface of the water. If the above equipment is not available at the pier, the employer shall furnish it during the time that he is working the barge.
- Employees walking or working on the unguarded decks of barges shall be protected with U.S. Coast Guard-approved work vests or buoyant vests.
Barge Material Handling
- Operations fitting the definition of “material handling” shall be performed in conformance with applicable requirements of Part 1918, “Safety and Health Regulations for Long Shoring” of this chapter. The term “Long Shoring Operations” means the loading, unloading, moving, or handling of construction materials, equipment and supplies, etc. into, in, on, or out of any vessel from a fixed structure or shore-to-vessel, vessel-to-shore or fixed structure or vessel-to-vessel.
Barge Working Surfaces
- Employees shall not be permitted to walk along the sides of covered lighters or barges with coamings more than 5 feet high, unless there is a 3-foot clear walkway, or a grab rail, or a taut hand line is provided.
- Decks and other working surfaces shall be maintained in a safe condition
- Employees shall not be permitted to pass fore and aft, over, or around deck loads, unless there is a safe passage.
- Employees shall not be permitted to walk over deck loads from rail to coaming unless there is a safe passage. If it is necessary to stand at the outboard or inboard edge of the deck load where less than 24 inches of bulwark, rail, coaming, or other protection exists, all employees shall be provided with a suitable means of protection against falling from the deck load.
Cofferdam work presents safety problems unique to this type of construction. Among them are limited access, limited work areas, damp or wet footing, and deep excavations. Provisions must be made for safe access in terms of adequate walkways, rails, ladders, or stairs into and out of the lower levels. The work may be within a waterway, in which case additional safety regulations may apply. These would include provisions for flotation devices, boats, warning signals, and suitable means for a rapid exit. The Construction Safety Orders should be consulted for specific requirements.
Crane Barges, Floating Derricks, etc.
During lifting operations, the stability of the floating crane/derrick or vessel with an auxiliary shipboard crane shall meet the USCG requirements for “Lifting”.
The load rating of a floating crane/derrick shall be the maximum working loads at various radii as determined by the manufacturer or qualified person considering list and trim for each installation. The load rating shall specifically reflect the: design standard; machine trim; machine list; and dynamic/environmental loadings anticipated for the operational envelope of the floating crane/derrick or auxiliary shipboard crane. A Naval Architectural Analysis shall be performed to determine these parameters that shall be used in generating the load rating.
- The load rating is dependent upon the structural competence of the crane or derrick, rope strength, hoist capacity, structural attachment to the floating platform, and stability and freeboard of the floating platform.
- When deck loads are to be carried while lifting, the situation shall be analyzed for modified ratings.
- When mounted on barges or pontoons, the rated loads and radii of land cranes and derricks shall be modified as recommended by the manufacturer or qualified person. The modification shall be evaluated by the qualified person specific to the floating platform mounting the crane.
- Load charts shall be generated based on the crane load rating for floating service. In addition, the load charts for floating service shall comply with the specific standard it was designed to (See Table 16-1) and clearly explain the floating platform and dynamic/environmental parameters that apply to the load chart.
Naval Architect Notes
- Draft limits (with deck cargo considered),
- Vessel motion limits,
- Vessel and crane list/trim limits, and
- Vessel condition (e.g., dry bilges, watertight integrity, etc.).
- Crane manufacturer Notes, or reference to them.
- Safe Working Load Chart with:
- Mode of operation,
- Environmental limits,
- Capacity (net or gross),
- Load, boom elevation, radius (with list/trim considered), and
- Crane configuration, such as:
- Boom length
- Amount of counterweight,
- Parts of wire, and
- Block size.
All crane manufacturer capacity tables should include the boom elevation in degrees from the horizon at each noted capacity. Additionally, the capacity should be clearly defined (i.e., net or gross).
Stability – operating list or trim. Unless the crane or derrick manufacturer recommends a lesser value, the following shall be the maximum allowable list or trim:
- Cranes, designed for barge or pontoon mounting, rated at 25 tons (22,680 kg) capacity or less shall have a maximum allowable list or trim of 5º.
- Cranes, designed for barge or pontoon mounting, rated at 25 tons (22,680 kg) capacity or more shall have a maximum allowable list or trim of 7º, although 5º is recommended.
- Derricks designed for barge or pontoon mounting, rated at any capacity shall have a maximum allowable list or trim of 10º.
- Land cranes and derricks mounted on barges or pontoons shall have a maximum allowable list or trim of 5º or the maximum allowed by the crane manufacturer.
Stability – Design Load Conditions
All floating cranes and derricks shall comply with the requirements of 46 CFR 173.005 through 173.025.
- Cranes or derricks designed for barge or pontoon mounting shall be stable. The following shall be the minimum allowable freeboard if ANSI B30.8 is selected:
- Rated load, 60-mph (26.8-m/s) wind, 2-ft (0.6-m) minimum freeboard;
- Rated load plus 25%, 60-mph (26.8-m/s) wind, 1-ft (0.3-m) minimum freeboard;
- High boom, no load, 60-mph (26.8-m/s) wind, 2-ft (0.6-m) minimum freeboard;
- For backward stability of the boom – high boom, no load, full backlist (least stable condition), 90-mph (40.2-m/s) wind.
- Land cranes and derricks mounted on barges or pontoons:
- Barge- or pontoon-mounted land cranes require modified ratings due to increased loading from list, trim, wave action, and wind. This rating will be different for each size of pontoon or barge used. Therefore, the load rating of barge or pontoon-mounted land cranes and derricks shall not exceed that recommended by the manufacturer for the particular barge or pontoon under the expected environmental conditions.
- All deck surfaces of the pontoon or barge shall be above the water.
- The entire bottom area of the barge or pontoon shall be submerged.
- Provide tie-downs for derricks to transmit the loading to the barge or pontoon.
- Cranes shall be blocked and secured to prevent shifting.
The employer shall develop and maintain a safe practice manual, and make it available at the dive location for each dive team member. The employer shall keep a record of each dive. The record shall contain the diver’s name, his or her supervisor’s name, date, time, location, type of dive (scuba, mixed gas, surface supply), underwater and surface conditions, and maximum depth and bottom time.
Each dive team member shall have the experience or training necessary to perform assigned tasks safely.
Each dive team member shall be briefed on the tasks, safety procedures, unusual hazards or environmental conditions, and modifications made to the operating procedures. The dive shall be terminated when a diver requests it, the diver fails to respond correctly, communication is lost, or when the diver begins to use the reserve breathing gas.
- The project supervisor shall obtain daily weather forecasts before beginning work and as frequently thereafter as required to monitor any potential weather problems.
- When a local weather storm warning exists, consideration shall be given to the recommendations of the manufacturer for securing the crane.
- Work shall be halted when environmental conditions exceed those delineated on the load chart.
- Truck- and crawler-cranes shall be attached to the barge or pontoon by means of a tie-down system with some slack.
- Movement during lift operations is not permitted.
- When loads approach the maximum rating of the crane or derrick, the person responsible for the job shall ascertain that the weight of the load has been determined within +/- 10% before it is lifted.
- Means shall be provided for the operator to visually determine the list and trim of the barge or pontoon, as well as machinery list and trim in rotating crane cabs.
- Principal walking surfaces shall be of a skid-resistant type.
- Boom stops shall be provided to resist the boom fall backward.
- A boom angle indicator readable from the operator’s station shall be provided on all floating cranes.
- All floating cranes/derricks and shipboard auxiliary cranes shall be fitted with load limiting devices (LLDs) or load indicating devices (LID).
- Duty cycle operations are exempt from these requirements.
- Duty cycle cranes performing occasional non-critical lifts shall comply with the following:
- Total weight of load and rigging is known or calculated;
- Load chart is reviewed for weight and planned radius;
- The informal pre-lift meeting is held between all personnel directly involved (operator, rigger, etc.) to review the conditions present for that lift (environmental, configuration, etc.)
- All floating cranes/derricks and crane barges shall be equipped with wind speed and direction indicating devices within clear view of the operator’s station.
Floating Pile Driving Rigs
- When pile drivers are working over water, all relevant precautions for work over water should be taken in accordance with this code and in particular, a suitable boat should be kept readily available at all times.
- All members of floating pile driving crews should be trained to handle boats.
- Floating pile driving rigs should be provided with a whistle, siren, horn or other effective signaling equipment.
- Floating pile driving rigs should be provided with adequate fire-fighting equipment.
- The weight of machinery on a floating pile driving rig should be evenly distributed so that the deck of the installation is horizontal.
- Steel barge hulls should be divided into watertight compartments.
- Watertight compartments should be provided with siphons for the removal of water seepage.
- Barge deck hatches should have firmly fastened covers that fit flush with the deck.
- Sufficient sheaves should be provided on the barge deck to enable the crane or pile driving rig to be safely maneuvered in any direction and safely secured in position.
- Regular headcounts should be taken of the pile driving crewmembers.
Lifesaving and Safety Skiffs
At least one skiff shall be immediately available at locations where employees work over or immediately next to water.
Personnel trained in launching and operating the skiff shall be readily available during working hours. Lifesaving personnel shall perform a lifesaving drill, including the launching and recovery of the skiff, before the initiation of work at the site and periodically thereafter as specified by the GDA (but at least monthly or whenever new personnel are involved).
Skiffs shall be kept afloat or ready for instant launching. Required equipment must be onboard and meet or exceed USCG requirements. Skiffs shall be equipped as follows:
- Four oars (two if the skiff is motor powered);
- Oarlocks attached to gunwales or the oars;
- One ball-pointed boat hook;
- One ring buoy with 70 ft (21.3 m) of 3/8-in (0.9-cm) solid braid polypropylene, or equivalent, line attached; and
- PFDs in number equaling the skiff rating for the maximum number of personnel allowed on board.
- In locations where waters are rough or swift, or where manually-operated boats are not practical, a powerboat suitable for the waters shall be provided and equipped for lifesaving.
Skiffs and power boats shall have flotation tanks or buoyant material capable of floating the boat and its equipment and the crew.
On vessels (e.g., skiffs) without permanently mounted navigation lights, portable battery-operated navigation lights will be available and used for night operations.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s)
05.H.01 Type III, Type V work vests, or better U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-approved International Orange personal floatation device (PFD) equipped with a USCG-approved automatically activated light (lights on Type III and Type V PFDs are not required on projects performed exclusively during daylight hours) and retroreflective tape shall be provided to and properly worn (zipped, tied, latched, etc., in closed fashion) by all persons in the following circumstances (inflatable PFDs will not be worn by workers on USACE sites).
- On floating pipelines, pontoons, rafts, or stages;
- On structures or equipment (including heavy operating equipment that is not secured to the structure) extending over or next to water except where guardrails, personal fall protection system, or safety nets are provided for employees;
- Working alone at night where there are drowning hazards, regardless of other safeguards provided;
- In skiffs, small boats, or launches, unless in an enclosed cabin or cockpit; or
- Wherever there is a drowning hazard.
Before and after each use, the PFD shall be inspected for defects that would alter its strength or buoyancy: defective devices or devices with less than 13-lb (5.8-kg) buoyancy shall be removed from service.
Throwable Devices (Type IV PFD)
- On USCG-inspected vessels, ring buoys are required to have automatic floating electric water lights as required by 46 CFR 160.
- On all other floating plant and shore installations, lights on life rings are required only in locations where adequate general lighting (e.g., floodlights, light stanchions) is not provided. For these plants and installations, at least one life ring, and every third one thereafter, shall have automatic floating electric water light attached.
- All PFDs shall be equipped with retro reflective tape in accordance with USCG requirements.
- Life rings (rope attachment not required) and ring buoys (rope attachment required) shall conform to the requirements of 46 CFR 160 (USCG approved) and should have at least 70 ft of (21.3 m) of 3/8-in (0.9-cm) solid braid polypropylene, or equivalent, attached. Throw bags may be used in addition to life rings or ring buoys. Life rings or ring buoys shall be readily available and shall be provided at the following places:
- At least one on each safe type skiff;
- At least one on all motorboats up to 40 ft (12.1 m) in length and at least two for motorboats 40 ft (12.1 m) in length or longer;
- At least two on any other piece or group of floating plant up to 100 ft (30.4 m) in length and one additional for each increase in length of 100 ft (30.4 m) or fraction thereof; an
- At least one at intervals of not more than 200 ft (60.9 m) on pipelines, walkways, wharves, piers, bulkheads, lock walls, scaffolds, platforms, and similar structures extending over or immediately next to water, unless the fall distance to the water is more than 45 ft (13.7 m), in which case a life ring shall be used. (The length of line for life rings at these locations shall be evaluated, but the length may not be less than 70 ft (21.3 m).
At navigation locks, an analysis of the benefits versus the hazards of using floating safety blocks (blocks that may be quickly pushed into the water to protect individuals who have fallen in the water from being crushed by vessels) shall be made.
Medical and First Aid
Prior to the start of work, arrangements shall be made for medical facilities and personnel to provide prompt attention to the injured and for consultation on occupational safety and health matters.
- An effective means of communication (hard-wired or cellular telephone, two-way radio, etc.) with 911 access or other emergency response source and transportation to effectively care for injured workers shall be provided. Communication devices shall be tested in the area of use to assure functionality.
- The telephone numbers of physicians, hospitals, or ambulances shall be conspicuously posted (at the minimum, these numbers shall be posted at the on-site project office telephones).
- A map delineating the best route to the nearest medical facility shall be prepared and posted on the safety bulletin board.
First Aid Kits
Unless otherwise specified, where first-aid kits are required, they shall be Type III, 16-unit, first-aid kits (kits containing 16 unit-type first-aid packages) containing the minimum fill contents, and one pocket mouthpiece or CPR barrier. First-aid kits shall be easily accessible to all workers, protected from the weather, and each item maintained sterile. First-aid kit locations should be clearly marked and distributed throughout the site(s).
The contents of first-aid kits shall be checked by the employer prior to their use and at least weekly when work is in progress to ensure that expended items are replaced.
Requirements for “Basic Unit Packages”
Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
- The placement of AEDs is optional but encouraged. The placement of AEDs on the worksite must be preceded by an assessment of the time and distance to emergency medical services (EMS) and a justified need for such equipment.
- An AED program shall include as a minimum:
- Appropriate training and certification of identified operators.
- Physician oversight and assessment.
- Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for EMS activation and outcome oversight.
- Equipment Maintenance Program.
First-Aid Stations and Infirmaries
- On activities requiring a first-aid station or an infirmary, the type of facilities and equipment shall be determined by the proximity and quality of available medical services and shall be in accordance with the recommendation of a licensed physician. Alternative facilities that provide the quantity and quality of services outlined in this section may be used if recommended by a licensed physician.
- Identification and directional markers shall be used to readily denote the location of all first-aid stations and infirmaries.
- Emergency lighting shall be provided for all first-aid stations and infirmaries.
A first-aid attendant shall be on duty in first-aid stations at all hours when work is in progress (except when on emergency calls).
- Infirmaries shall provide reasonably quiet, privacy, light, climate control, adequate toilet facilities, hot and cold water, drainage, and electrical outlets; walls and ceilings shall be finished with the equivalent of two coats of white paint; windows and doors will be screened; floors shall be of impervious construction.
- A properly equipped emergency vehicle, helicopter, or mobile first-aid unit shall be provided during work hours at sites requiring an infirmary. The emergency vehicle shall not be used for any other purpose, except that the helicopter may be used for shift crew changes.
- A registered nurse (RN), a licensed physician’s assistant, a certificated emergency medical technician (EMT), or a licensed practical nurse (LPN) (if the LPN is approved by a licensed physician) shall be assigned on a full-time basis to each installation requiring an infirmary.
- Infirmaries shall be equipped with an AED.
Personnel Requirements and Qualifications
All projects, installations, activities, or contracts on which 1,000 persons or more are employed (greatest total aggregate number of employees on a shift) shall have the full-time services of a licensed physician. An EMT having direct communication with a licensed physician may be used when a full-time physician is not available.
First-aid attendants shall hold certification in first-aid and CPR training from the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or from an organization whose training is deemed equivalent by one of these organizations (and this equivalency is stated in writing), or from a licensed physician. The certificate(s) shall state the date of issue and length of validity.
First-aid attendants, RNs, licensed physicians’ assistants, LPNs, and EMTs shall be under the direction of a licensed physician.
- In the event of an accident, all work will immediately cease. The Project Manager will deem when work shall resume.
- Emergency planning procedures will be coordinated with local authorities and implemented at the site. Additionally, communication with the local hospital will occur so as to advise the emergency room of the nature of contamination victims may have been exposed to while on site if they are transported to the hospital. Directions to the hospital will be posted on site and a copy will be placed in all site vehicles. These procedures will be discussed during the weekly site briefings.
- Emergency plans to ensure employee safety in case of fire or other emergency shall be prepared, in writing, and reviewed with all affected employees. Emergency plans shall be tested to ensure their effectiveness.
- Plans shall include escape procedures and routes; critical plant operations; employee accounting following an emergency evacuation; rescue and medical duties; means of reporting emergencies; persons to be contacted for information or clarification.
- On-site emergency planning shall be integrated with off-site emergency support.
- Evacuation procedures will be outlined and discussed to address possible emergencies requiring such; such as severe weather warnings, fires, etc. If the emergency evacuation requires the act of jumping overboard, proper guidelines shall be followed, such as the use of required life-saving flotation devices and the notification of the proper emergency authorities thru the use of onboard radio devices or phones.
Medical Services and First Aid
General Information About Mobilization
- The drivers and operators of vehicles and of pile equipment/related accessories should be persons trained and tested as required by a pile driving local (union) state or national laws, or presiding regulations.
- Adequate signaling or other control arrangements or devices should be provided to guard against danger from the movement of any vehicles, equipment or materials handling equipment. Special safety precautions should be taken for cranes, pile rigs, crawler rigs, trucks, vehicles, and equipment when maneuvering backward.
- Preventive measures should be taken to avoid the fall of vehicles into open excavations or into water.
- Where appropriate, any equipment should be fitted with structures (ROPS) designed to protect the operator from being crushed should the machine overturn, be struck by falling debris, or similar occurrence.
Motor Vehicles and Mechanized Equipment
All vehicles in use shall be checked at the beginning of each shift to ensure that all parts, equipment, and accessories that affect safe operation are in proper operating condition and free from defects. All defects shall be corrected before the vehicle is placed in service. No employer shall use any motor vehicle, earthmoving, or compacting equipment having an obstructed view to the rear unless:
- The vehicle has a reverse signal alarm distinguishable from the surrounding noise level, or
- The vehicle is backed up only when an observer signals that it is safe to do so.
Heavy machinery, equipment, or parts thereof that are suspended or held aloft shall be substantially blocked to prevent falling or shifting before employees are permitted to work under or between them.
- In the event of thunderstorms, lightning, blizzards, and high winds all work will be suspended.
- In the event of severe storm warning, equipment will be secured on high ground and personnel evacuated.
- All contingency actions will be coordinated with the Customers Project Manager.
Wire Rope And Slings
- The information in this section provides guidance for safely handling lifted loads. As in any Marine Construction related project, “wire ropes & slings” are a daily consideration. One should note, this is not a rigging textbook; the information should be applied only by qualified riggers.
- Wire rope and slings that have been irreversibly damaged or removed from service shall be made unusable for hoisting and rigging operations before being discarded.
- Load tables are representative only and are not exact for all materials or all manufacturers.