Boats and Employee Safety
Do Accident Prevention Program rules apply to boats operating on state waters?
Yes, the same Accident Prevention Program (APP) rules that apply to workplaces on land also apply when boats with non-federal employees operate on lakes, some rivers, and other Washington State-regulated waters.
APP and other workplace safety and health rules also apply to publicly operated work vessels, such as state-run ferries, even when they operate on federal waters.
On land or water, the employer is responsible for ensuring workplace safety and health rules are followed.On the water, the captain is the employer's representative.
Boats utilized as charter boats must also meet licensing, inspection, and documentation requirements established to ensure public safety. See L&I's "Charter Boats" Web page to learn more about these requirements.
For help clarifying which regulations apply to you, contact L&I at the numbers below, or contact the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Accident Prevention Program (WAC 296-800-140)
- Airborne Contaminants (Chapter 296-841, WAC)
- Bloodborne Pathogens (Chapter 296-823, WAC)
- Boats and Mechanical Devices on Waters, Sawmills and Woodworking Operation (WAC 296-78-56505)
- Chemical Hazard Communication (WAC 296-800-170)
- Confined Space (Chapter 296-809, WAC)
- First Aid (WAC 296-800-150)
- Lockout/Tagout(Chapter 296-803, WAC)
- Log Unloading, Booms, and Rafting Grounds — Boats and Mechanical Devices on Waters (1) (WAC 296-54-59330)
- Longshore, Stevedore and Related Waterfront Operations (Chapter 296-56, WAC)
- Machine Safety(Chapter 296-806, WAC)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)(WAC 296-800-160)
- Safety and Health Core Rules (Chapter 296-800, WAC)
- Ship repairing, shipbuilding, and shipbreaking (Chapter 296-304, WAC)
- Bathroom and Toilet Facility Access (DD 5.98)
- Boatbuilding of Vessels 65 Feet or Less (DD 21.55)
- Confined Spaces in Shipyards (DD 12.45)
- Ferry terminals: Enforcement of Load Limit Signage on Ferry Terminals (DD 22.90)
- Personal Flotation Devices (DD 21.25)
- Accident Investigation Basics
- Accident Prevention Program (APP)
- Boater Education Courses (Washington State Parks)
- Fishing Safety Success Story: The More You Wear It, The Better Off You Are DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2019-164
- Fishing Safety Success Story: Man, This Could Be It DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2019-163
Publications, Handouts, Checklists
- 2021 Workplace Safety and Health Calendar: Spot the Hazard (F417-280-000_2021)
- Where and how carbon monoxide may accumulate on a boat (U.S. Coast Guard fact sheet).
- US Coast Guard Boating Safety
- National Safe Boating Council
- Safety Pays
For topic-specific information, see also:
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) (Control of Hazardous Energy, Interlock Devices)
Longshore, Stevedore and Related Waterfront Operations, Safety Standards for
Outdoor Heat Exposure
Ship repairing, shipbuilding and shipbreaking