As an owner or operator of a marina, a yacht club, a commercial vessel, or a boat dealership, protecting both one’s customers and the business itself is key to sustainability, growth, and profitability. What’s more, there are number of exposures inherent in operating a marina, all of which affect the pricing of marine insurance, which is why putting safety first is critical for maintaining a safe environment.
Basic Safety Tips
Following are some basic safety tips one should ensure are not only provided to all employees in and around the marina, but are also enforced and monitored regularly.
The marina storage contract should be reviewed, if it hasn’t been in the last five years.
Be sure all boat owners are required to sign the contract annually.
Ensure that all boat owners (including temporary slip users) are required to provide proof of insurance at least annually in the case of seasonal users.
Keep a copy of storage contract.
All subcontractors should be required to sign in, and provide a proof of valid, current insurance with a copy kept on file.
Be sure the marina property is clear of overhead power lines, and that the launch ramps are clean and have good, full-length traction.
Mark the end of the ramp prominently.
The forklift launch area should have adequate guards to prevent over-shooting end.
Each forklift should have a portable fire extinguisher.
Ensure that the travel lift is in good condition and certified annually.
Have appropriate signage at fuel dock.
All fuel nozzles should be grounded and there should be no latch open devices on the nozzles.
Make sure employees are properly trained in fueling operation.
Have a pollution response kit at the pump area and at minimum one size III/60BC portable extinguisher at fuel dock.
Be sure to have adequate lighting on the dock.
Don’t have any cords, water hoses, and so on running across the dock.
Ensure that the dock is free and clear of owner’s belongings.
Access gangways to floating docks should have non-skid surface and/or cleats.
Pier planking should be devoid of bulges, loose planks, popped nails, and so on.
Have a ring buoy with a line attached at each portable fire extinguisher location.
Make sure there are egress ladders provided for fixed piers and docks.
The electrical system should be checked annually for proper grounding of all electrical power pedestals.
Only put marine grade shore power cords.
Unattended portable heaters should be prohibited on boats.
Bulk (larger than 20#) propane bottles should also be prohibited.
All portable fire extinguishers should be serviced on an annual basis.
Extinguishers should be conspicuously located on all piers, shop areas, restaurants, meeting areas, office, etc.
There should be at least one AIBI portable fire extinguisher at the foot of all piers and along docks and accessible within 75 feet ).
Have sprinkler system services and tagged annually.
The sprinkler system should be inspected and tested every month.
Set up a special area set up for welding and cutting.
Put smoke and fire detection system in all shop areas, office, meeting areas, restaurant, etc.
There should be a central station alarm.
Keep dumpsters and large trash receptacles located away from buildings and stored boats.
Maintain a neat and clean shop.
Keep oily rags kept in fire-resistive metal containers and emptied daily.
Keep flammable liquids kept in fire-proof metal locker when not being used.
These are only general guidelines for some of the areas that require safety precautions at a marina, yacht club, or boat dealership. In implementing and monitoring safety measures, effective loss control protocols will be followed, helping to prevent claims and driving up marine insurance.