Science Party members are responsible for reading Chapter 1 of the UNOLS RVOC Safety Training Manual and be familiar with the UNOLS Research Vessel Safety Standards (RVSS) .
UNOLS RVSS, Appendix A, Rope and Cable Safe Working Standards
UNOLS RVSS, Appendix B, Overboard Handling Systems-Design and Operations Standards
General Shipboard Safety
- Safety at Sea is paramount. Major medical services can be many days away. It is everyone's responsibility to speak up if they feel they are in an unsafe situation or see something they feel is unsafe.
- A ship is an unsteady platform. Always keep one hand free to hold onto a railing when using stairs or hallways.
- Rough seas can arrive quickly. All science gear must be secured before you leave port and always kept secure while at sea.
- Be aware of watertight doors. These doors are very heavy and will swing from the ship's motion and can cause injury. Doors are never to be allowed to swing freely with the motion of the ship. Always keep at least one hand on the door until it is closed or secured.
- Do not climb aloft or atop the pilothouse without receiving permission from the ship's officer on watch or the bridge.
- Get permission from the bridge/ship's officer on watch before putting anything over the side.
- A person should not go out on deck alone at night or in rough weather. If you must, first alert the bridge, take someone with you or assign someone to watch you from inside the ship, and if conditions warrant, use a tether. The Captain will determine if weather decks should be secured, in which case no one is allowed outside the ship.
- Hard hats, life vests and closed toe/heel shoes are required when working on deck.
- When participating in overboard operations avoid loose fitting clothing that can catch on equipment and cause injury or pull you overboard.
- Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock if you are working long hours outside. The levels of harmful UV radiation are much higher at high latitudes and at sea than elsewhere.
- Most fires can be prevented. Smoking is not allowed inside the ship. Learn the location of fire extinguishers and fire alarm pull stations in your areas. Sound the alarm and notify the bridge immediately if you are the first on the scene of a fire.
Prior to complex operations, a gathering of ship's personnel and science members will commence to discuss all aspects of the operation(s). A risk assessment following the Green-Amber-Red (GAR) Model will be conducted. All in attendance are encouraged to bring up any safety concerns.
Non-essential personnel are to stay clear of all deck operations. During high-load operations, all personnel must vacate the decks in the vicinity of the wire under load and the winch being used for the operation.
Be aware that lines and wires can part under tension. Do not stand under or near a line or wire while it is under a load. Never stand in the bight of a line or under a load that is being hoisted.
Clear lines of communication must be followed during deck operations. The designated deck leader shall give directions to winch, crane, A-frame operators, line handlers and anyone else involved in the operation. If you see something un-safe, bring it to the attention of the deck leader or the ship's safety officer.
Fire and Emergency
Fires and Emergencies are announced by continuous sounding of alarm bells and ship's whistle for ten seconds. All science members must immediately gather their survival suits and life preservers from their staterooms and proceed to the Main Lab to be accounted for. The Baltic Room is the alternative location. For dismissal from fire stations, there are three short blasts of the whistle and three short rings on the general alarm.
The Abandon Ship signal is seven short and one long blast on alarm bells and ship's whistle. All science members must immediately gather their survival suits and life preservers from their staterooms and proceed to their assigned muster stations. Do not break out survival suits until so instructed. Never don a survival suit inside the skin of the ship.
Upon observing a person going over board, yell: “MAN OVERBOARD STARBOARD/PORT SIDE!”
Throw Floating Material
Throw a life ring or other floating material (This acts as a visual marker).
Pass Word to the Bridge
Pass the word to the Bridge using the best means available.
Keep Victim in Sight
Keep the victim in sight at all times if possible.