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operations yields information upon which to base preliminary safe work practices. Program elements are also addressed by video training sessions, respirator fit-testing and detection equipment practice.
Sharing initial risk assessment information between field units has been a key aspect in the program's success. Through October 1991, 51 different chemical and physical hazards were evaluated and their assessments disseminated to all second district marine safety units. Such information sharing has maximized resources and eliminated unnecessary duplication of effort. Industrial hygienists are able to provide information to unit personnel on occupational exposures during specific Coast Guard operations. They also evaluate and recommend changes to work practices based on information obtained during sampling.
Highlights of some of the services provided by the marine occupational health coordinator to marine safety commanding officers include:
Marine inspector is monitored for benzene exposure during internal examination of cargo tank. Note passive organic vapor monitor hanging from his label.
Measurement of hazardous noise levels during tank barge offloadings;
Sharing risk management information has contributed toward safety and occupational health program development throughout the Coast Guard. Written hazard communication summaries, safe work practices, instructions and standard operating procedures have been assimilated at the field level at many Coast Guard marine safety units.
Participation in local industry day panel discussions during the past two years has turned out to be a useful exchange of risk management information between the Coast Guard and inland river industries.
The Coast Guard safety and occupational health program still has a long way to go. All Coast Guard units must receive meaningful field support by trained professionals. Otherwise, revitalized awareness will diminish and worker complacency will return.
Program credibility must be further established by using risk management information from audits and surveys in updated Coast Guard safety and occupational health policy and safe work practices.
Most importantly, Coast Guard program managers must firmly reinforce commitment to worker safety and health by seeking every opportunity to integrate safety and occupational health program elements into mission performance expectations.
Articles and photographs are by LCDR Bob Acker, the marine safety occupational health coordinator for the Coast Guard Seeond District, 1222 Spruce Street, Suite 2.102 G, St Louis, Missouri 63103-2832.
Telephone: (314) 539-2655.
How to obtain regulations
By ENS Barbara Rose
To order Coast Guard rules from the Code of Federal Regulations, cite the title, volume and stock number; enclose the price and send to:
Overseas orders: add 25 percent (surface mail).
Contact Government Printing Office for airmail delivery rates.
Bare-boat chartering. are the benefits worth the risk?
By Mr. William A. McCurdy, Jr.
In the summer of 1989, Coast Guard officers boarded a 108-foot recreational yacht at New York's historic South Street Seaport. They informed the captain that he was operating his vessel in violation of current Coast Guard safety regulations and could be endangering the lives of the approximately 80 passengers embarked for a mid-day cruise and lunch. The co-sponsors of the event elected to remain on board the vessel for lunch, but the cruise was canceled.
Later that same summer, other passengers on a similar recreational craft were not so lucky. Several lives were lost when an English charter operator overloaded its vessel and embarked on a cruise on London's famous Thames River. The vessel experienced mechanical difficulty, took on water and eventually sank. Investigators indicated that the vessel lacked sufficient lifesaving equipment, which, if present and used, would have prevented the needless loss of life.
These seemingly unrelated events -- in opposite corners of the world -- had a significant impact on managers of E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and Co. Their employees were among the guests
on the aborted New York cruise and had been invited to sail on the ill-fated Thames River outing. This sequence of events caused the Du Pont corporate management to question whether or not its employees should be permitted to attend or host business-related cruises on such vessels. In addition to the safety concerns, management raised issues around legal compliance and liability. A thorough review of corporate practices and policy was ordered.
Commercial vs recreational
Du Pont safety engineers reviewed Coast Guard regulations for "commercial vessels" and contrasted them with the lesser standards imposed on the operators of "pleasure vessels." Significant differences in requirements concerning primary life-saving equipment, fire prevention, manning, training and periodic safety inspections generated a strong recommendation that "pleasure vessels" not be used for Du Pontsponsored events and that Du Pont employees be urged not to attend any business events held on such vessels.
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