HomeLibraryMaritime AccidentsJones Act Maritime Safety Rules for Barges to Prevent a Ship Accident

Jones Act Maritime Safety Rules for Barges to Prevent a Ship Accident


If you’re wondering what is the Jones Act in regards to provisions for maritime safety regulations, you’ll be surprised to know that there are many parties involved. When a ship accident occurs – whether it is on a commercial fishing boat, a shipping vessel or a barge – there may be many organizations you could be dealing with for an injury claim. Your Jones Act attorney can help you correspond and negotiate with these organizations as you seek benefits for your maritime injury.

Who regulates maritime safety?

Your ship accident can be caused by numerous factors, and negligence is one of the major ones in regards to what is the Jones Act going to do for your injury claim. The Jones Act provides compensation to injured barge workers who suffer medical conditions or disabilities after a serious ship accident. To file a claim for damages, you must be able to prove that another person’s negligence caused the accident to occur.

This is when your Jones Act attorney can be extremely helpful. In most cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates the maritime safety rules for barges and other commercial vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard is another department that regulates maritime safety in partnership with OSHA.

Your main employer also may have their own safety rules for barges under their control. No matter who regulates the safety rules, if they are violated and result in a ship accident on a barge, you may need to file a maritime injury claim for damages.

Basic Barge Maritime Safety Rules
According to OSHA maritime safety provisions, the regulation of safety on construction barges underway and other “uninspected vessels” is overseen by the U.S. Coast Guard. If the ship accident takes place in waters under OSHA’s jurisdiction, its rules and regulations will apply for situations not covered by the U.S. Coast Guard’s regulations.

Some of the general rules under both organizations include: 

  • installation of an OSHA-approved guard rail system or use of a Personal Fall Arrest System;
  • availability of personal floatation devices for every crew member;
  • regular inspection of all machinery and equipment onboard the barge;
  • use of emergency shut-off systems;
  • scheduled testing of all safety equipment, especially fire prevention systems;
  • having at least 1 hand-portable fire extinguisher for barges that are less than 50 tons; and
  • mandatory training for crew members on safety rules, regulations and practices.

A breach of these and any other safety rules could result in you asking, “What is the Jones Act going to mean in my injury claim?”

The Importance of Knowing Maritime Safety Rules

One of the best types of evidence in a maritime injury claim is to show that maritime safety regulations were neglected. Several parties can be held liable for this breach of safety when a ship accident occurs. Typically it is your supervisor, but there are many other third parties that may be included in a liability claim that your Jones Act attorney can help you sort out.

Your main employer, the ship’s manager and even the maintenance crew all could be held liable for maritime safety violations. It’s not a question of what is the Jones Act providing you in regards to safety rules; this law does not govern specific maritime safety rules. The Jones Act is only useful to your claim if you can prove another’s negligence of the rules caused your boat accident.

Proving negligence in a ship accident is a frustrating process if you’re not familiar with who is regulating the maritime safety rules for barges. Remember that you have the right to have a Jones Act attorney help you resolve your claim so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.

Injured in a Ship Accident? Contact a Jones Act Attorney

The Jones Act provides you with certain protections your employer may not want you to know about. A Jones Act attorney from The Young Firm in New Orleans, Louisiana, can help you if your employer violated maritime safety laws for barges and you suffered a serious injury in a ship accident.

Though we are based in Louisiana, we are ready and able to help injured victims throughout the U.S. Order our free Maritime Injury Law guide and/or our guide to what to do when you are injured offshore to learn all about your rights as an injured worker.

If you are asking what is the Jones Act in regards to your maritime injury claim we urge you to contact us today for a FREE case evaluation – call toll-free at 1-866-701-8647.



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