Water Safety Day on Wednesday, May 15, and Safety Solutions & Supply wants you to be aware of OSHA’s safety requirement for working over water and when or if life jackets or skiffs are necessary.
Do you have a 100% fall protection policy in place? If so, do you know the requirements for a life jacket and skiff when this policy is in place?
Know the Rules for Safety Over or Adjacent to Water
Regulation 29 CFR 1926.106a states that, “Employees working over or near water, where the danger of drowning exists, shall be provided with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket or buoyant work vests.”
According to the United States Department of Labor, “When continuous fall protection is used to prevent employees from falling into the water, the employer has effectively removed the drowning hazard, and life jackets or buoyant work vests are not needed.”
It goes on to say that while yes, this is true, “The use of safety nets as fall protection during marine construction activities usually will not eliminate the drowning hazard. In many cases there is a risk that materials heavy enough to damage the nets may fall. In such cases the personal flotation device and the other applicable requirements of 1926.106 apply.” But ultimately the life jacket does not need to be used when 100% fall protection is in place.
As for a skiff, section 1926.106 states that “at least one lifesaving skiff shall be immediately available at locations where employees are working over or adjacent to water.”
So make sure one is always there in case the fall protection devices fail or have a lapse in usage. This will help with the efficient and quick rescue of any employee who may fall into the water. Even though we try to be as safe as possible, accidents still do happen, and we need to be ready in case of an emergency.
So, in order to be compliant with OSHA standards and to keep your workplace a safe environment, be sure to have a skiff on site.
Safety Solutions & Supply
314 E. Canal St. (State Road 60)
Mulberry, Florida 33860
Email: [email protected]