According to the CDC, workers in marine transportation face a number of unique hazards. They must take proper precautions against physical risks such as slippery services, noise level and heavy lifting to chemical hazards such as fuel, diesel exhaust and fuel cleansers.

With a fatality rate six times above average, it is crucial to abide by all safety measures. This includes gangway safety. When a vessel does not recognize dangers, it can present serious hazards to mariners.

How can you keep your gangway safe?

Regularly examine gangway

The United States Coast Guard recommends that all pilots, crew or anyone who boards and departs a vessel, take a look at the gangway before he or she crosses. If you see any deficiencies or hazards, report them right away. If you even suspect that there may be a hazard, do not cross it.

Implement all safety practices

It is up to the owners, operators, captains and other officials aboard the ship to ensure that everyone adheres to the best safety practices. All vessels have specific safety regulations and when not followed, can lead to serious injuries.

OSHA requires that all gangways have more than 20 inches of surface and have adequate strength. It should remain secure and should have proper maintenance performed. If using a turn table, then there must be a railing of at least 33 inches. The railing may be made from chain, wood, pipe, rope or wire but it has to remain taut.

The Coast Guard inspects and certifies gangways and if given a certification, the gangway meets all requirements.