Ship Safety Standards

“SAFETY FIRST” IS THE MESSAGE decreeing the mandatory culture of work habits and vessel condition aboard the State of Maine.

In 2014, the training ship staff developed and internally vetted its own Safety Management System, a document providing safe work practice and vessel condition instruction and guidelines. It provides for an ever-evolving system of safety analysis, work permits, and stop work authority.

A typical day for the student, crew member, or contractor working aboard the vessel starts with filling out a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) form. This form provides a stock set of pertinent questions about all aspects of safe work practice, and causes the assigned individual to mentally review and check all points of the job he or she is about to perform. This ensures that workers perform the task with complete understanding of potential hazards and actions needed to mitigate these hazards.

A work permitting system is also mandated for jobs involving significant hazard. Among other tasks, these permits typically cover welding, working aloft, and enclosed space entry, and they require management review and approval along with specific additional safety precautions prior to commencing the task.

As a worker fills out these documents he or she is asked to review items such as whether Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is needed; securing systems to a safe condition; tagging/locking that system out to ensure its condition remains benign during the work; slip, trip and fall hazards; tool condition; excluding the work area from others not involved; and any other special precautions that the persons performing the work deem important.

At the end of the day, everyone goes home with the “same number of fingers and toes they arrived with” and the vessel benefits from continuing maintenance and improvement in an alert and safe industrial habitat.


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