Now is the Time to Get Back to the Basics of Marine Safety
Early fall is a transition time for yard and vessel employees. Summer workers, including teachers, college and high school students return to school. Many vessels use these workers to fill out crews in what is the busy summer season. The usual fall, winter and spring crews then take over again.
This is the time to get back to the basics with safety.
Sometimes summer help get the more mundane and boring jobs and more often the dirty or more dangerous jobs. Come fall, when the full-time crew goes back to doing these jobs on a regular basis, they often view tasks as easy and let down their guard just a bit. No, you say? If you want that to be the truth, hold a few safety meetings and review the way things need to be done correctly and safely.
You don't have to go it alone. You can ask your workers compensation carrier to send a loss control person or team to help you get your crew back into the safety mode. And on vessels, ask your ocean marine agent to get a safety team together to get your crew back in safety shape.
Here is a quick check list to get you started:
- Have a game plan. What do you want to accomplish?
- Explain to your safety team (either land-based or on the vessel) what they need to do to help.
- Break the meetings up into smaller groups and rotate the instructors so your crews don't get bored with one instructor or another.
- Try to entertain as well as learn. Use examples of right and wrong; there are valuable lessons when the crew can laugh and see how badly the wrong way turns out.
- As an alternative, think of having a shorter meeting once every week for a month. That way crews can bring questions that have come up since the last meeting.
- By all means, document that you had the meetings and keep notes of what went right or wrong.
- Make absolutely certain that your insurance company -- and the Coast Guard -- are aware that you held safety meeting. It’ll always reflect well on you.
Your insurers may provide you free help which may also help your premium rates. The Coast Guard will appreciate your efforts, too.
Source: Gene McKeever, Allen Insurance and Financial
Always feel free to call your insurance agent with questions.
Allen Insurance and Financial is an employee-owned insurance, employee benefits, and financial services company with offices in Camden, Rockland and Southwest Harbor. Call 800-439-4311.