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General Guidelines - Water Vessel Program 5.11

McNeese State University

Vice President of Business Affairs

Office of Environmental, Health, Safety & Hazardous Waste

General Guidelines - Water Vessel Program 5.11

Safety Manual Content

  1. Purpose

    To increase safety awareness for operators, crew-members, and passengers in a University owned/leased/hired water vessel.
  2. Applicable To

    Any University employee or student worker who must operate a University owned/leased/hired water vessel to fulfill the needs and/or requirements of his/her job, course curriculum or degree plan while on state business.
  3. Guidelines

    1. Personnel shall not operate a University owned/leased/hired water vessel without having successfully completed the BoatUS or other approved National Association of State Boating Law Administrators course.
    2. Personnel utilizing University owned/leased/hired water vessels are required to complete a ‘Vessel Authorization / History Form – DA2066 (Section 7: Forms) each year. Also, required is an annual Water Operating Report (WOR) from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
      1. The Program Director shall compile a list of High Risk Operators. These operators shall not be authorized to operate water vessels for a minimum of 12 months and must complete an approved boater’s course before being placed on the authorized usage list. (High Risk Operators are those individuals having three or more convictions, guilty pleas, and or nolo contendere pleas for moving vessel violations, or having a single conviction, guilty plea, or nolo contendere plea for operating a vessel while intoxicated, careless operation,negligent homicide, or similar violation including any civil case for which negligence has been proven within the previous 12 month period.)
    3. Personnel using University owned/leased/rented vehicles to tow vessels must complete the University’s Driver Safety Program and have, in their possession, a valid driver’s license.
      1. Driver’s license suspensions and or reckless operations for automobile now apply to a person’s water vessel operating record. Specifically, if a driver’s license is suspended or revoked, privileges to operate a watercraft are also suspended or revoked.
    4. The Director of The Louisiana Environmental Research Center (LERC) shall be Program Administrator of the University’s water vessel safety program.
      1. Documentation of course completion vehicles / vessels, inspections, float plans, operator history forms, WORs, ODRs, and accidents / incidents shall be kept on file by the Director of LERC. Initial training of employees should occur within the first 90 days of hire and every three years thereafter.
      2. The Director of LERC is responsible for insuring all equipment necessary for safe, legal operation of University water vessels, is up-to-date and in good working condition.
      3. The Office of Environmental, Health, Safety and Hazardous Waste should have at its access all documentation to do an annual evaluation of the University’s Water Vessel Program.
  4. Safe Operations

    1. Vehicles / Vessels
      1. University owned/leased/rented/hired equipment will be checked out through LERC.
      2. Prior to the use of University vessels /vehicles, the operator shall conduct a walk around inspection to identify any obvious problem(s).
        1. Deficiencies must be documented on the 'Water Vessel Safety Checklist' (Section 7: Forms).
          1. Items must be corrected prior to use of the equipment.
      3. The use of alcohol or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) that impairs ability or judgment is not permitted.
      4. Operators of University equipment are responsible for obeying all Federal, State and Local ordinances, rules, regulations and laws.
      5. A 'Float Plan' (Section 7: Forms) shall be filed with LERC prior to utilization of vessel.
    2. Personnel
      1. Personnel have the responsibility to immediately stop any observed unsafe act(s) and to eliminate any unsafe condition(s).
      2. Personnel are to adhere to guidelines and directives that accompany any equipment on board the vessels and vehicles such as fire extinguishers, personal floatation devices, hard hats, hearing protection, gloves, etc.
      3. Visitors, other than crew, are required to sign an acknowledgment of responsibility document (Section 7: Forms).
    3. Firearms
      1. No firearms are allowed on University equipment unless assigned to a commissioned law enforcement official.
        1. The University Police Chief on a case-by-case basis may make an exception in writing.
    4. Fire Safety
      1. While operating University equipment that utilizes combustible or flammable liquids, a fire extinguisher will be readily available.
      2. Flammable liquids will be stored in approved containers.
      3. While refueling vessels / vehicles, the operator will ensure proper grounding.
        1. Appropriate steps should be taken to prevent the buildup of static electricity.
  5. Accident Reporting

    1. Call appropriate agency for assistance
      1. Coast Guard (Waterway)
      2. State Police (Vehicular)
      3. Campus Police (All situations)
    2. If the accident involves an injury, immediately notify campus police (475-5711).
    3. Fill out the appropriate accident forms (Section 7: Forms)
      1. Incident / Accident Investigation Form
      2. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Waterway Accident Form
    4. Make no statement or warranty about the University’s liability.
  6. Disciplinary Action

    1. The recommended guidelines for disciplinary actions for operating violations are:
      6.1 Disciplinary Action Table
      Violation Disciplinary Action
      Incapacity of Operator (drugs, alcohol) Loss of operating privileges
      Negligent Homicide Loss of operating privileges
      Misuse of vessel (pending an investigation) by Program Administrator Loss of operating privileges
      Careless Operation or Interference with Navigation First offence: Written warning issued + Required to attend boating safety class.
      Second offence: Written warning issued + Required to attend boating safety class. Suspended operating privileges until class completed
      Third offence: Suspension of operating privileges pending an investigation by the Program Administrator
      Reckless Operation Suspension of operating privileges pending an investigation by the Program Administrator
      Accidents Program Administrator will review reports and determine disciplinary action depending on severity
    2. Whenever suspension of operating privileges is deemed necessary, Program Administrator will communicate this action to the individual’s supervisor and will also put a copy of the ruling into the individual’s personnel file.
      1. This may lead to further action by the individual’s department according to Civil Service rules and regulations.

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