Boat Builders: Avoiding Safety Hazards

Boat Builders: Avoiding Safety Hazards

Like any industry, the boat building sector faces various risks. While not all risks can be foreseen, many can be avoided and prevented. In addition to securing a Boat Builder Insurance Policy, your clients should heed these tips to keep their workers safe on the job.

Ship building can be a dangerous process as workers are often working outside and exposed to the elements. Further, confined spaces and working from great heights while moving heavy equipment is also commonplace. In addition, working with harsh chemicals and paints can pose significant risks, as well. According to the International Labor Office, here are some other common risk exposures boat builders face:

Chemical Risks

  • Exposure to asbestos and mineral fibers in insulation work.
  • Vapors and spray mists from paints, coatings, solvents and thinners.
  • Fumes from various welding, burning, soldering and brazing operations.
  • Exposure to gases used in various welding, burning and heating processes.


Physical Threats

  • Temperature and weather extremes associated with work performed out-of-doors.
  • Electrical hazards.
  • Ergonomic-related problems caused by repetitive handling of large and bulky materials.
  • Ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

In order to prevent injuries, boat builders should use less toxic chemicals wherever possible and allowing plenty of ventilation for processes involving these materials. This includes reducing the use of asbestos insulation or solvent-based paints and replacing them with safer alternatives. Further, if the use cannot be avoided, consider using these materials in isolation to reduce the exposure. Next, consider enclosing booths specifically for welding and painting to also minimize the exposure of hazards to more employees.

Lastly, ensure workers are wearing proper protective clothing and equipment. This is by far the most important safety component for employees and is heavily relied upon by boat builders.

At Merrimac Marine Insurance, LLC we are committed to the recreational marine industry, providing consultative loss control services and aggressive claims management. For more information about our products and services, please contact us today at 888.344.1687.