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Maritime Safety Guide

Nearly all world industries rely heavily on maritime shipping. Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon once stated, “Maritime transport is the backbone of global trade and the global economy.” Maritime shipping is also considered one of the safest and most environmentally-friendly modes of goods transportation.

Due to the vastness of the oceans, safety has always been foundational to the shipping industry. Sadly, many injuries and deaths have occurred to those working on or near the water, making maritime law an integral measure of safety. The shipping industry was one of the first industries to implement comprehensive international safety standards set forth by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This maritime safety guide condenses the many rules and regulations ensuring safety across marine waterways.

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What is Maritime Safety?

Maritime safety is the collection of measures to protect life and property at sea. Specifically, the guidelines come from the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). SOLAS provisions range from setting the frequency of ship inspections to implementing approved life-saving appliances.

Crew member training and certifications also ensure that sailors follow best practices and protocols at sea. IMO generally oversees international shipping safety matters, but the organization is also responsible for preventing marine and atmospheric pollution.

Risks Faced by Maritime Workers

Maritime workers are exposed to many risks while on duty. According to the CDC, the marine transportation industry recorded 87 fatal injuries between 2011-2017, almost six times the rate of all U.S. workers. During the same period, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows 11,000 non-fatal maritime injuries.

The main risks faced by maritime workers include:

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