Safety Alert: Secure stairwell areas to prevent injury from falls

The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Safety Alert for vessels with stairwells that may be hazardous. The alert was the result of an accident aboard a tour boat in which a customer fell into a two-step stairwell and was significantly injured.

The hazard was not identified beforehand. After the accident, the operator installed a lifeline cable across the opening to the stairs.

The Coast Guard urges vessel operators to inspect stairwell areas to identify any hazards that bring a risk of slips, trips and falls. Any areas that cannot be fully secured should be brought to the attention of passengers during a safety brief. Encourage a risk-awareness culture by instructing crew to evaluate the vessel’s condition regularly and to identify and mitigate hazards.

Below is the Coast Guard’s full Safety Alert:

By Professional Mariner Staff