Personnel must board vessels safely using approved boarding devices. Movement of the floating vessel can cause the boarding device to move, increasing the possibility of workers falling or being injured by a moving device.
- Workers being injured when boarding a vessel.
- Workers falling off the gangways or ladders to a lower level or into the water.
- Structural failure of a gangway or ladder causing the worker to fall to a lower level or into the water.
- Movement of the gangway or ladder resulting in injuries.
- Workers being struck by moving material or cargo loads.
Figure 2: Proper gangway provided for access from the pier to a floating vessel.
Requirements and Example Solutions:
The employer shall not permit employees to board or leave any vessel, except a barge or river towboat, until the following requirements have been met:
- An adequate gangway must be provided. When a gangway is not practical, then an straight ladder or Jacob’s ladder must be used. [29 CFR 1915.74(a)(1)]
- Gangway must maintain clear access, have at least 33-inch-high hand rails, be properly trimmed, and be properly illuminated. [29 CFR 1915.74(a)(2), (a)(4), (a)(5), (a)(8), (a)(10) and (a)(11)]
- When the end of the gangways overhangs the water, it must be bridged and a net must be present. [29 CFR 1915.74(a)(6) and (a)(7)]
- When the upper end of the gangway or ladder rests on or is flush with the top of the bulwark or hand rail, steps with adequate guardrails are required. [29 CFR 1915.74(a)(9)]
- Suspended loads must not pass over the gangway. [29 CFR 1915.74(a)(12)]
Standards – 29 CFR
|• Part Number:||1915|
|• Part Title:||Occup. Safety and Health Standards for Shipyard Employment|
|• Subpart Title:||Scaffolds, Ladders and Other Working Surfaces|
|• Standard Number:||1915.74|
|• Title:||Access to vessels.|
|• GPO Source:||e-CFR|
Access to vessels afloat. The employer shall not permit employees to board or leave any vessel, except a barge or river towboat, until the following requirements have been met:
Whenever practicable, a gangway of not less than 20 inches walking surface of adequate strength, maintained in safe repair and safely secured shall be used. If a gangway is not practicable, a substantial straight ladder, extending at least 36 inches above the upper landing surface and adequately secured against shifting or slipping shall be provided. When conditions are such that neither a gangway nor a straight ladder can be used, a Jacob’s ladder meeting the requirements of paragraphs (d)(1) and (2) of this section may be used.
Each side of such gangway, and the turntable if used, shall have a railing with a minimum height of approximately 33 inches measured perpendicularly from rail to walking surface at the stanchion, with a midrail. Rails shall be of wood, pipe, chain, wire or rope and shall be kept taut at all times.
Gangways on vessels inspected and certificated by the U.S. Coast Guard are deemed to meet the foregoing requirements, except in cases where the vessel’s regular gangway is not being used.
The gangway shall be kept properly trimmed at all times.
When a fixed tread accommodations ladder is used, and the angle is low enough to require employees to walk on the edge of the treads, cleated duckboards shall be laid over and secured to the ladder.
When the lower end of a gangway overhangs the water between the ship and the dock in such a manner that there is danger of employees falling between the ship and the dock, a net or other suitable protection shall be rigged at the foot of the gangway in such a manner as to prevent employees from falling from the end of the gangway.
If the foot of the gangway is more than one foot away from the edge of the apron, the space between them shall be bridged by a firm walkway equipped with railings, with a minimum height of approximately 33 inches with midrails on both sides.
Supporting bridles shall be kept clear so as to permit unobstructed passage for employees using the gangway.
When the upper end of the means of access rests on or 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 construction of the vessel makes it impossible, the means of access shall be so located that drafts of cargo do not pass over it. In any event, loads shall not be passed over the means of access while employees are on it.
Access to vessels in drydock or between vessels. Gangways meeting the requirements of paragraphs (a)(1), (2), (9), (10), (11) of this section shall be provided for access from wingwall to vessel or, when two or more vessels, other than barges or river towboats, are lying abreast, from one vessel to another.
Access to barges and river towboats.
Ramps for access of vehicles to or between barges shall be of adequate strength, provided with side boards, well maintained and properly secured.
Unless employees can step safely to or from the wharf, float, barge, or river towboat, either a ramp meeting the requirements of paragraph (c)(1) of this section or a safe walkway meeting the requirements of paragraph (a)(7) of this section shall be provided.
The means of access shall be in accordance with the requirements of paragraphs (a)(9), (10), and (11) of this section.
Jacob’s ladders 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.
[67 FR 44542, July 3, 2002]