U.S. Geological Survey Manual
SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 49
Large Vessel Safety Program Management
Instruction: Chapter 49 is a new chapter established to address Bureau safety requirements for vessels greater than or equal to 26 feet in length over all.
1. Purpose. To specify requirements for the safe operation of the Department of the Interior (Department or DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (Bureau or USGS) large vessels that are defined as vessels greater than or equal to 26 feet length over all and for the training and certification of USGS large vessel operators and crew.
2. References. The large vessel safety program conforms to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) standards of 46 CFR, sub-chapter C, part 28, Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels, and other appropriate regulations and standards. This policy supplements existing requirements or regulations established by the U.S. Coast Guard, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Transportation, Executive Orders, Department of the Interior and USGS Survey manuals, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, American National Standards Institute, National Fire Protection Association, Safety of Life at Sea, National Vaccine Information Center, Commandant Instruction, University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, American Bureau of Shipping, and United States Code. Deviations from the requirements of this chapter are not permitted except as specifically described in this chapter.
Additional references include the following:
29 CFR 1910 through 1919.
33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters Subchapters F and S.
46 CFR Subchapters C, T, S, U, and I.
46 U.S.C. 8104(f), 8304, 8702, and 8104.
47 CFR, Wireless Telecommunications.
485 DM 22, Watercraft Safety.
ANSI Z41-1991, Z87.1-1989, and Z89.1-1986.
NFPA 51B, 306, and 326.
NVIC 5-86, 1 (F) Design and Stability–Lifting.
SM 408-2-H, Property Management Handbook.
SM 412.1, Watercraft.
SM 440-2-H, Physical Security Handbook
SM 445-2-H, Occupational Safety and Health Program Requirements Handbook.
SM 445-1-H, Environmental Management and Compliance Requirements Handbook.
SOLAS, Safety of Life at Sea, 1980.
USCG COMDTINST M16672.2C, Department of Transportation, Navigation Rules, International-Inland.
UNOLS, Research Vessel Safety Standards, 2003.
American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Classification Society Standards.
USGS Large Vessel Safety Management System.
A. Large Vessel Safety Management System.
(1) All USGS cost centers that support large vessels shall implement a local large vessel safety management system that provides sufficient information and guidance to mitigate hazards encountered during field operations and at the dock, and describes policies and procedures that, when implemented properly, will help ensure the safety and health of employees and passengers. The local large vessel safety management system is designed to be used as both a manager’s reference and maintained onboard as a reference for any vessel that requires a U.S. Coast Guard licensed operator.
(2) Local large vessel safety management systems shall be tailored after the following chapters/contents and meet/exceed requirements established within the USGS Large Vessel Safety Management System Manual:
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Safety and Environmental Protection Policy
Chapter 3 Center Responsibility and Authority
Chapter 4 Designated Persons
Chapter 5 Master’s Responsibility
Chapter 6 Resources and Personnel
Chapter 7 Vessel Operating Procedures
Chapter 8 Emergency Preparedness
Chapter 9 Reporting Procedures
Chapter 10 Maintenance Inspection Criteria References
Chapter 11 Documentation
Chapter 12 Science Center Verification and Reviews
B. Exceptions to Safe Large Vessel Operation Requirements.
(1) Deviation from the requirements of large vessel written policy may be permitted for special mission requirements such as emergency response or special law enforcement operations.
(2) Emergency policy deviations shall be authorized by the Science Center Director, documented in writing, with a copy forwarded to the Bureau and Regional Large Vessel Program Managers and Bureau Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Program Manager.
(3) Non-emergency policy deviations shall be requested in writing by the respective Science Center Director and forwarded to the Bureau Large Vessel Program Manager for approval, to include a justification for alternate/equivalent safety measures to be taken. A copy should also be forwarded to the Regional Large Vessel Program Manager.
(1) Operators of DOI and USGS large vessels shall hold a U.S. Coast Guard master’s license for vessel size tonnage and route.
A. Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO). Provides appropriate personnel and budgetary resources to establish a bureauwide large vessel safety program.
B. Bureau OSH Program Manager.
(1) Provides for the establishment of a Large Vessel Safety Program Committee, which advises the Bureau DASHO through ad hoc membership on the Bureau OSH Council, to address all large vessel safety issues.
(2) Provides administrative support to the Large Vessel Safety Program Manager and Large Vessel Safety Committee as appropriate.
C. Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Manager.
(1) Serves as the Bureau’s technical expert on large vessel safety issues.
(2) Serves as the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Committee chair. The Large Vessel Safety Program Committee serves as a forum for peer group discussion of large vessel safety issues and to provide policy and program recommendations and other input to the Bureau OSH Council and DASHO. The Large Vessel Safety Program Committee chair is responsible for coordinating meetings, preparing meeting agendas, and publishing meeting minutes.
(3) Participates on the Bureau OSH Council.
(4) Maintains a high level of technical proficiency regarding large vessel safety issues.
(5) Serves as the USGS representative on large vessel safety issues requiring coordination with the DOI and other DOI bureaus and Federal agencies.
(6) Conducts regional and local program reviews to assess compliance with the Safety Management System (SMS) and documents issues in the USGS Inspection and Abatement System (IAS).
(7) Coordinates with the Large Vessel Safety Program Committee to compile a fiscal year large vessel program action/accomplishment plan and submits to the Bureau OSH Program Manager, annually.
(8) Maintains program management and document control for the SMS.
(9) Completes a self-assessment of the large vessel safety program, annually.
(10) Serves as lead investigator for large vessel accidents involving serious injury or major property damage. Reviews large vessel watercraft-related accident reports to identify any trends and make recommendations for control.
(11) Provides final written concurrence on “non-emergency” deviations or waivers to large vessel or SMS requirements and provides the Bureau OSH Program Manager and local cost center manager with a copy.
D. Large Vessel Safety Program Committee.
(1) Develops, maintains, and recommends basic large vessel safety program standards for the USGS.
(2) Develops or endorses specialized training curricula specific to USGS large vessel-based operations
(3) Reviews and evaluates DOI and USCG instructions and regulations for impact on USGS operations and develops recommendations and proposes alternatives for implementing compliance programs.
(4) Evaluates and recommends safety equipment for operating both basic and specialized large vessels and for performing large vessel-based tasks.
(5) Provides a forum to ensure communication and resource sharing between Bureau, regional, and science program personnel.
E. Regional Director.
(1) Designates a Regional Large Vessel Program Manager, in coordination with the Regional Executives, to serve on the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Committee.
(2) Provides appropriate budgetary resources to ensure regional oversight of the large vessel safety program, to include participation in the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Committee and field audits of cost centers with large vessels.
F. Regional Large Vessel Safety Program Manager.
(1) Serves as the regional technical expert on large vessel safety issues.
(2) Participates on the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Committee and Regional OSH Committee.
(3) Maintains a high level of technical proficiency regarding safety and health issues on large vessels.
(4) Conducts regional cost center program reviews to assess compliance with the SMS and documents within the USGS IAS.
(5) Compiles annual regional large vessel safety program accomplishments and initiatives for the upcoming new fiscal year and forwards to the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Manager and Regional Safety Manager for inclusion in their respective annual program submittals to the Bureau OSH Program Manager.
(6) Maintains regional SMS program management and document control.
G. Cost Center Directors.
(1) Provide appropriate personnel and budgetary resources to ensure establishment of a local large vessel safety program to include:
(a) Operator training.
(b) Periodic inspection and maintenance.
(c) Personal protective and other equipment as necessary for the safe operation of large vessels in all expected conditions.
(d) Local large vessel licensed operator, master, captain, large vessel coordinator, or designated person participation as a member of the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Committee.
(2) Authorizes and documents “emergency only” deviation/waiver to SMS policy for special mission requirements such as emergency response or special law enforcement operations. Provides a copy of the deviation/waiver to the BureauLarge Vessel Safety Program Committee.
H. Large Vessel Licensed Operator, Master, Captain, Large Vessel Coordinator, or Designated Person.
(1) Will implement the Vessel Safety Management System Manual as the minimum operational guideline for vessels 26 feet in length over all or greater.
(2) Has authority to make overriding decisions with regards to the safety of the vessel and crew.
(3) Serves on the Bureau Large Vessel Safety Program Committee (see SM 308.66 and Appendix F).
______/s/ Karen D. Baker_______________________ __8/14/09_________
Karen D. Baker Date
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services