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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 49

Large Vessel Safety Management Program

Instruction: This chapter is revised to reflect the organizational realignment.

1.  Purpose.  To specify requirements for the safe operation of the Bureau’s large vessels greater than or equal to 26 feet "length over all" (LOA) and for the training and qualifications of large vessel operators and crew.

2.  References.  

A.  The large vessel safety management program conforms to the 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Sub-Chapter C, part 28, "Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels," and other appropriate regulations and standards as defined in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Large Vessel Safety Management System (SMS) Manual.  

B.  Deviations from the requirements of this chapter are not permitted except as specifically described in this chapter.

3.  Requirements.

A.  Large Vessel Safety Management System.

(1)  All Science Centers that own and operate large vessels shall implement a large vessel SMS that provides sufficient information and guidance to mitigate hazards encountered during field operations and at the dock.  The large vessel SMS 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 (USCG) licensed operator.

(2)  Large vessel SMS shall be tailored after the following chapters/contents and meet/exceed requirements established within the USGS Large Vessel Safety Management System Manual:

(a)  Chapter 1 Introduction.

(b)  Chapter 2 Safety and Environmental Protection Policy.

(c)  Chapter 3 Center Responsibility and Authority.

(d)  Chapter 4 Designated Persons.

(e)  Chapter 5 Master’s Responsibility.

(f)  Chapter 6 Resources and Personnel.

(g)  Chapter 7 Vessel Operating Procedures.

(h)  Chapter 8 Emergency Preparedness.

(i)  Chapter 9 Reporting Procedures.

(j)  Chapter 10 Maintenance Inspection Criteria References.

(k)  Chapter 11 Documentation.

(l)  Chapter 12 Science Center Verification and Reviews.

B.  Exceptions to 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 Large Vessel Safety Program Manager (LVSPM) and the 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 LVSPM for approval, to include a justification for alternate/equivalent safety measures to be taken.  A copy shall be forwarded to the OSH Program Manager.

C.  Operators.

(1)  Operators of large vessels shall be required to hold a USCG license appropriate for the vessel and route.

(2)  Minimum licensing requirements for vessels 26 feet to 45 feet LOA shall be Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels, dependent on LOA, mission, route, number of individuals required to man, and tonnage.

(3)  Operators of vessels 45 feet LOA and greater shall be required to hold a Master level license.

(4)  A Master or Captain shall be designated in writing for each large vessel.

4.  Responsibilities.

A.  Director.

(1)  Requires compliance with statutory, regulatory, and large vessel safety management program criteria.

(2)  Holds the Designated Agency Safety and Health Official (DASHO), Associate Directors, and Regional Directors accountable for effectively fulfilling large vessel safety management program responsibilities within region, mission area, or office.

(3)  Delegates sufficient authority to the DASHO to effectively manage and administer the large vessel safety management program. 

B.  Associate Directors and Regional Directors.

(1)  Provide adequate staff and funding resources to effectively implement and administer the large vessel safety management program within their respective region, mission area, or office.  (Reference 29 CFR 1960.7.)

(2)  Require compliance with statutory, regulatory, and large vessel safety management program criteria and hold managers and supervisors accountable for effectively fulfilling program responsibilities.

C.  Designated Safety and Health Official.  Directs large vessel safety management program activities through the Chief, Office of Management Services (OMS), and ensures that adequate staff and funding resources are provided to develop and administer the program.

D.  Chief, Office of Management Services.  Provides sufficient authority and resources to effectively support and represent the interests of the USGS in the oversight, management and administration of the large vessel safety management program.

E.  Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager.

(1)  Provides for the establishment of a Large Vessel Safety Management Committee, which advises the Bureau DASHO through ad hoc membership on the Bureau OSH Council to address all large vessel issues.

(2)  Participates or designates a representative on the Large Vessel Safety Management Committee.

(3)  Provides administrative support to the large vessel safety management program manager and Large Vessel Safety Management Committee as appropriate.

(4)  Collaborates with the LVSPM on staffing levels to determine effectiveness in establishing and implementing the large vessel safety management program. 

FSpecialized Safety Programs Section Chief.

(1)  Provide large vessel safety management program oversight, administration, budget coordination and supervision of the LVSPM.

(2)  Collaborates with LVSPM on the large vessel safety management program policies, goals, and annual program plans and accomplishments.

(3)  Serves as the OSH Program manager designee on the large vessel safety management committee.

(4)  Provides support, oversight, and supervision for the LVSPM.

G.  Large Vessel Safety Program Manager.

(1)  Serves as the technical expert on large vessel safety management issues.

(2)  Serves as the Large Vessel Safety Committee (LVSC) chair.  The LVSC serves as a forum for peer group discussion of large vessel safety management issues and to provide policy and program recommendations and other input to the Bureau OSH Council and DASHO.  The LVSPM is responsible for the coordination of meetings and agendas and publishing minutes.

(3)  Participates on the Bureau OSH Council.

(4)  Maintains a high level of technical proficiency regarding large vessel safety management issues.

(5)  Serves as the USGS representative on large vessel safety management issues requiring coordination with the DOI, other DOI Bureaus, and other Federal agencies.

(6)  Conducts required SMS vessel inspections and management audits to ensure compliance with the SMS and documents in the Inspection and Abatement System.

(7)  Coordinates with the LVSC to compile a fiscal year program action/accomplishment plan and submits annually to the OSH Program Manager.

(8)  Maintains program management and document control for the SMS.

(9)  Completes an annual large vessel safety management policy self-assessment within the DOI Safety Management Information System (SMIS).

(10)  Serves as lead investigator for large vessel accidents involving serious injury or major property damage.  Reviews SMIS large vessel accident reports to identify any trends and make recommendations for control.

(11)  Provides final written approval for “non-emergency” deviations or waivers to large vessel or SMS requirements.

H.  Large Vessel Safety Committee.

(1)  Develops, maintains, and recommends basic large vessel safety management program standards for the USGS.

(2)  Develops or endorses specialized training curricula specific to USGS large vessel-based operations.

(3)  Reviews and evaluates Federal instructions and regulations for impact on large vessel operations and develops recommendations and proposes alternatives for implementing compliance programs.

(4)  Evaluates and recommends large vessel safety equipment.

(5)  Provides a forum to ensure communication and resource sharing across the Bureau.

I.  Science Center Directors, Cost Center Managers, and Project Chiefs.

(1)  Provide appropriate personnel and budgetary resources to ensure the establishment of a local large vessel safety management program to include:

(a)  Operator training.

(b)  Periodic inspection and maintenance.

(c)  Personal protective clothing and other equipment as necessary for the safe operation of large vessels in all conditions.

(d)  Provide person(s) with large vessel expertise to participate as member(s) of the LVSC.

(e)  Appoint a Large Vessel Designated Person to carry out the Center’s onshore responsibility and authority for the SMS.

(2)  Authorize and document “emergency only” deviation/waiver to SMS policy for special mission requirements such as emergency response or special law enforcement operations.  Provide a copy of the deviation/waiver to the LVSPM.

J.  Large Vessel USCG Licensed Operator, Master, Captain.

(1)  Implements the USGS Large Vessel Safety Management System Manual as the minimum operational guideline for vessels 26 feet LOA or greater.

(2)  Has sole authority to make final decisions with regard to the safety of the vessel and crew.

(3)  Serves on the LVSC as needed.

K.  Large Vessel Designated Person.

(1)  Assists the Science Center Director, Cost Center Managers, Project Chiefs, and Large Vessel USCG Licensed Operator/Master with implementation of the SMS.

(2)  Monitors the safety and pollution prevention aspects of the operation of large vessel.

(3)  Ensures vessel inspections and management audits are completed for compliance with SMS and documents appropriately.

/s/ Jose R. Aragon                                                                             November 5, 2015
                                                                                               ______________________
Jose R. Aragon                                                                                      Date
Associate Director for Administration                                                                                         

 


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