Inland Waterway and Marine Safety Tips

Inland Waterway and Marine Safety Tips

Whether you’re an amateur boater just getting your sea legs or you’ve been running a barge crew for years, it’s always important to understand and follow basic marine safety guidelines and regulations. Below are a handful (but certainly not all) of important marine safety tips when you’re on the dock and on the water.

Safer Barge Access

Finding access to safety solutions starts with understanding risks on the barge and the dock. Barges usually dock for one of two reasons — loading or unloading. Because most docks are built for cargo and not people, take a close look at what could be standing in the way of employee safety as they get on and off the barge. Mitigate risks by looking at equipment that may be limiting space and making boarding complicated and potentially dangerous.

Falling into the water is also a significant risk. Even if employees wear life jackets, there are other risk factors beyond drowning that could cause major injury or even death. Barge elevation, dock layout, and constant motion could create a situation where workers are pressed between the barge and dock.

Once the right solutions are in place, don’t get complacent and ignore basic barge access safety fundamentals. Shortcuts won’t help anyone save time or money if the end result is injury or death. Makeshift gangways are unacceptable, as are loose handrails, unsecured netting, and wet and slippery surfaces. It’s wise to have a checklist to ensure optimum barge access safety based on OSHA requirements.

Navigational Lighting as a Safety Tool

The International Maritime Conference adopted navigational light requirement rules for global regulation, and three primary colors were adopted (red, green, white) that are still used for safety and navigation today. There are different parameters based on your type of boat, its length, how it’s powered, where it’s traveling, and whether it’s at anchor.

These lights are also set up on vessels in a recognizable pattern: a green light at the starboard side, a red light on the port side, and a white light at the vessel’s stern. The masthead also needs two spotlights. If you’re installing or replacing the marine navigation lights on your vessel, you may want to consider choosing LED lights over traditional bulbs and fixtures. Remember that the lighting you choose — no matter what the type — needs to comply with COLREG and US Coast Guard regulations and be installed at the right lighting angles to stay visible to other boaters on the water.

Invest In Upgraded Exterior Lighting

Lighting on inland waterways is crucial for safety and navigation, among other reasons, and it’s crucial to get the retrofit process right the first time. Because there are now so many available options when upgrading exterior marine lighting along the inland waterways, it’s not something we’d recommend you tackle on your own. Working with a qualified, experienced lighting team can bring essential skill sets to the table, from the design of the lighting system throughout its installation and even when it comes to long-term maintenance of your LED lighting.

Once you’ve settled on a budget for commercial exterior lighting, sit down with those lighting professionals to discuss your options. Bring the necessary documentation to these meetings, like landscape plans, property maps, and building blueprints. If sustainability plays a vital role in your upgrade, let your lighting team know to help guide their suggestions. Making sure that you get the most of your exterior commercial lighting investment means choosing high-quality products and professional guidance and installation. 

Talk to Experienced Marine LED Lighting Professionals

If safety is a concern, get peace of mind by speaking with a team of lighting professionals. While upgrading your marine lighting isn’t a comprehensive safety plan, it’s undoubtedly a crucial part of the overall process. We are committed to delivering a high-quality product along with prompt, friendly, and professional customer service. We take great pride in our ability to provide our customers with products they need to help ensure they’re including these factors in their lighting plan. Get in touch today to get started!