While you may have an idea of what type of equipment you’re looking for, it’s important to not miss any important details. Always shop for safety equipment with the following four qualities:
1. Adaptable To Various Conditions
No two days at your marine facility are exactly alike. Whether you run into problems with limited dock space, variable water heights or obstructions blocking ship access points, you need safety equipment that’s flexible. Marine safety equipment must adapt to changing conditions within your work environment.
For example, the barges you’re working on and their access points may change throughout the day. Your safety solutions provider should give you the following mounting options to choose from in a barge gangway:
- Float mode – As water levels rise and fall, your barge simply drifts under the gangway.
- Pivot mounting – From one fixed mounting position, you can access several points on the barge.
- Track mounting – Easily move your gangway up and down the dock to access multiple barges.
If you’re searching for a ship tower, you may benefit from one that features telescoping units, which provide extra versatility. Not only should your safety solutions be modifiable, but they also should be custom fit to your needs.
2. Slip And Fall Resistant
Falling at a marine facility is dangerous due to the risk of drowning or being swept up in a current. While ship gangways are useful in preventing falls, ensure the gangways you choose include the following features:
- Slip-resistant walk surface with angled cleats or treads
- Handrails that provide sturdy support
- Midrails that prevent workers from falling under the handrail
If using a gangway isn’t an option at certain areas of your site, use a marine ladder with heavy-duty swivel safety shoes and sizeable rubber tread to secure footing on a variety of surfaces. Your ladder will be much less likely to slip and lead to a fall from a height.
3. Made Of Reliable Material
Barge gangways, ship towers and marine ladders should always be made from high-quality materials. Aluminum is a strong, light metal that weighs about one-third as much as steel. When used in safety equipment, aluminum reduces dead weight while increasing load capacity. Ladders in particular are much easier to maneuver when they’re made of aluminum.
Aluminum also increases the life span of your equipment due to its corrosion-resistant nature. It naturally generates a protective oxide coating. Your safety equipment provider may also use protective treatments such as anodizing, painting or lacquering to extend the equipment’s life even further.
4. Environmentally Friendly
Spilling oil or other foreign materials into ocean water can be an environmental disaster. Not only do you endanger wildlife, but the EPA enforces the Clean Water Act. After a spill, the EPA ensures you clean up by:
- Negotiating with you to clean up the spill yourself, or
- Ordering you to clean up, or
- Having you pay for a third party to clean up
Some customers insist that their marine gangways use electrical power to avoid oil leaks from hydraulics. However, if you partner with a safety equipment provider that builds reliable solutions, your equipment is unlikely to leak. You may also choose to have a leak containment system installed with your equipment as an extra precaution.
As you work toward making your marine site safer, incorporate safety solutions that offer complete protection. You shouldn’t invest in equipment missing the qualities discussed above. Analyze your risks and prioritize mitigating those you’re exposed to first. Improving safety is an ongoing process that starts with making the right equipment decisions for your site.
Ready to learn how you can improve marine safety? Read this tip sheet to find out how to protect your workers and your budget.