It’s no secret that working in the marine industry comes with inherent risks, especially for those who build or repair boats and other watercraft. One of the most common safety hazards, in fact, has to do with working in a confined space. It’s vital that your clients be financially protected with the right Marine Workers Compensation policy, offered through Merrimac’s exclusive program for the ABYC. In addition to obtaining the appropriate coverage however, what safety issues should your clients be aware of, to mitigate their losses?

OSHA cites fire, asphyxiation, and toxic exposures among the biggest risks involved upon entry into confined spaces during ship building and repair. For example, let’s say a space has been fumigated or contains bulk liquids, gases or solids that are irritants, toxins, or corrosive. These can create hazards to the occupants’ health. Add in combustible liquids or gases and you have potential fire hazards as well. These aren’t the only potentially dangerous substances that can be found on a boat under construction; other health and safety hazards include solvents, oils, asbestos fibers, skin irritants, and more.

Awareness is essential in preventing harmful health and safety effects. Your clients should periodically check the confined spaces on boats under construction as well as tanks on vessels that have carried gasoline or volatile crude oils. It’s important to remember that rust can continue to dissipate vapor after these tanks have been cleaned. Other airborne toxins that present a constant risk are asbestos, as these fibers are still used in certain applications and the high concentrations of toxins that welding in confined spaces can yield.

At Merrimac Marine Insurance, LLC we understand the complex safety risks faced by your clients and their staff. 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.