15. Working aloft and over the side
15.1. General provisions
15.1.1. Consideration should be given to a permit-to-work system for work aloft or
over the side depending on the nature of the work (see Chapter 4). A form for working
aloft should take account of the particular nature of the operation.
15.1.2. Particular attention should be paid to sea and weather conditions and the
possibility of squalls before working aloft or over the side is commenced. In general,
working aloft or over the side should not be permitted if the movement of a ship in a
seaway makes such work hazardous.
15.1.3. In coastal waters strong tidal or current rips could cause sudden,
unexpected ship movements which might be hazardous to seafarers working aloft.
15.1.4. Special consideration should be given to the problems of working near the
ship's whistle, funnel, radio aerials and radar scanners. All relevant officers should be
informed before work commences and all relevant equipment should be isolated, shut
down or appropriate procedures adopted. Warning notices should be posted as
appropriate. Officers should be informed when the work is completed.
15.1.5. Young or inexperienced persons should not be required to work aloft or
over the side unless accompanied by an experienced seafarer or under adequate
15.1.6. All seafarers should wear safety harnesses and safety nets should be rigged
where appropriate. Persons working over the side should wear life jackets or other
suitable flotation devices. Someone should be in attendance on deck and a lifebuoy with a
line attached should be readily available.
15.1.7. Warning notices that seafarers are working aloft should be posted on deck
and elsewhere as appropriate. Tools should not be carried in pockets but secured in belt
tool carriers and they should be kept secured to the belt with a lanyard or string during
the work. Tools and stores should be sent up and lowered by line in suitable containers.
15.1.8. All equipment, such as lizards, blocks and gantlines, should be carefully
examined before use and if there is any doubt as to the standard, quality and condition of
any item it should not be used.
15.1.9. Where possible, only permanent fixtures to the ship's structure, such as
welded eye pads, should be used as securing points for lizards, blocks and gantlines.
15.1.10. Lizards and gantlines should be away from, or protected from, sharp
15.1.11. Cargo handling operations should not take place in the vicinity where
seafarers are working aloft.