Water Safety

Learning objectives

  • Identify the importance of wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs) when working over or near water
  • Recognize the hazards posed by working over or near water
  • Identify the types of U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs
  • Identify the frequency and criteria for inspecting PFDs, as well as their proper use and care
  • Define employee and employer responsibilities for working safely over or near water
  • Identify circumstances that allow alternatives to wearing PFDs and additional criteria for working safely over or near water

Course overview

Employees who work over or near water face multiple hazards due to their potential for falling into the water. These hazards include drowning, impact injuries from falling from a height into the water, and hypothermia resulting from prolonged exposure to cold water.

Safety regulations require that employers provide workers with a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD), a ring buoy to be readily available for emergency rescue, and at least one lifesaving skiff to be immediately available.

Employees must know how frequently to inspect their PFD, how to ensure it is properly labeled, and how to select and wear a PFD that fits properly. They must also know how to inspect the PFD to ensure it is good condition and properly maintain the PFD to ensure it remains buoyant.

Some circumstances involving work over or near water can allow alternatives to wearing PFDs or necessitate additional safety requirements.

  • 13 minutes
  • English, Spanish
Course Outline
  • PPE - Water Safety
Regulations
  • 29 CFR 1926 Subpart E - Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment - 1926.106 Working over or near water
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Subchapter 4, Construction Safety Orders, Article 13, Work Over or Near Water, 1602, Work Over or Near Water
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