Deck Barge Safety

Overview

This publication presents guidance on preventing injuries and illnesses from workplace hazards on deck barges. Approximately 4,000 deck barges operate in the United States, using different types of winches and other equipment in a variety of operations. Employees on these vessels can face serious hazards. Between 1997 and 2006, 305 employees were killed on barge/tow combinations, and 379 explosions or fires occurred on barges or towboats, killing 14 employees. Some examples of these incidents are: 1) An employee ...
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Overview

This publication presents guidance on preventing injuries and illnesses from workplace hazards on deck barges. Approximately 4,000 deck barges operate in the United States, using different types of winches and other equipment in a variety of operations. Employees on these vessels can face serious hazards. Between 1997 and 2006, 305 employees were killed on barge/tow combinations, and 379 explosions or fires occurred on barges or towboats, killing 14 employees. Some examples of these incidents are: 1) An employee was setting a steel pile upright in the water. The steel pile was being held upright by a chain connecting it to the barge. A large boat passed by the barge, creating a wake. The barge moved and the steel pile fell, pivoting on the chain. The steel pile struck the employee on the back of the head, killing him. 2) An employee carrying a right angle grinder attempted to step from one barge to another by using a barge rope. He lost his balance and fell into the river between the two barges. He was not wearing a life vest. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful and the employee drowned. 3) An employee was standing on a barge with a coworker, waiting for a personnel basket to land on the barge. He was holding a small sheet of plywood. He stepped back, stumbled on a board, and fell over the side of the barge into 12 feet of water. He was not wearing a life vest. Rescue attempts by his coworkers with a life ring failed and he drowned. 4) An employee on a pile-driving barge was directed to put up a ladder and get survey equipment off a breasting dolphin. A short time later, a coworker and the foreman heard splashes and another employee saw the first employee go under the rake of the barge, where he became trapped. He then surfaced and was carried by the current into some pilings. He was rescued by two coworkers in a john boat and taken to the local emergency room, where he later died. 5) Three employees entered a tank on a barge. The tank did not contain sufficient oxygen. One employee died and the other two required hospitalization. 6) Two riggers were capping a sulfur well in a shallow bay, working from the deck of a barge equipped with a crane with a clamshell bucket. The employees dug around the well casing and then set a caisson around the wellhead. Standard procedures required them to cut off the casing and then weld a circular plate over the end. The first employee went into the caisson to wrap a sling around the pipe end, and was asphyxiated due to hydrogen sulfide gas. The second employee entered the caisson to rescue him, and was also overcome by the gas. Neither was wearing respiratory protection (i.e., airline or Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus). Both employees died. 7) A deckhand was working on a spud barge helping a coworker raise the spud legs using a winch system. A 42-inch pin was to be inserted into the spud leg to prevent it from falling if the winch brake released. The spud leg was raised just high enough for the employee to insert about 4 inches of the pin into the hole, when the winch brake failed. The pin came up and the employee was pinned between the pin and spud leg, sustaining fatal crushing injuries to his chest. 8) A towing vessel was pushing two deck barges to a pile-driving location off the Louisiana coast. While the vessels were underway, a spud on one of the barges suddenly dropped into the water from its raised position. The spud struck and ruptured a buried high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The gas ignited and created a fireball that engulfed the towing vessel and both barges. The master of the towing vessel and four barge employees were killed, and one barge employee was listed as missing. Many such injuries and deaths could be prevented with proper controls, procedures, training, and awareness of hazards and possible solutions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781497346918
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/15/2014
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 566,922
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.07 (d)

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