OSHA issues new directive on marine cargo handling

terminal AUGUST 13, 2012 — OSHA has issued a revised "Tool Shed" directive providing enforcement guidance for inspections of longshoring operations and at marine terminals, also known as the marine cargo handling industry. The directive is aimed at eliminating workplace hazards in the industry by addressing updated requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) and the safe operation of Vertical Tandem Lifts (VTLs).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, seven workers died and more than 2,900 were injured performing marine cargo handling operations in 2010. OSHA is committed to reducing and eliminating these worker injuries, illnesses and fatalities by conducting focused interventions in the industry.

The revised directive:

  • clarifies personal protective equipment (PPE) that employers must provide at no cost to their workers, when employers must pay for replacement PPE, and when employers are not required to pay for PPE;
  • provides information and guidance on Vertical Tandem Lifts (VTLs), both on the regulations and the recent court ruling on a challenge by industry to those regulations;
  • includes changes to the Marine Terminals and Safety and Health Regulations for Longshoring provisions based on Phase III of the Standards Improvement Project;
  • incorporates the settlement agreement between the National Grain and Feed Association Inc. and OSHA;
  • updates answers to commonly asked maritime cargo handling questions; and
  • delivers marine cargo handling safety and health information in a Web-based format with electronic links.

The marine cargo handling industry is regulated primarily by the Marine Terminals standards (29 CFR Part 1917) and the Longshoring standards (29 CFR Part 1918). The new "Tool Shed" directive applies to the enforcement of these standards and is available on OSHA's Maritime Industry Safety and Health Topics page, along with maritime compliance information, standards and outreach training resources.

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