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Course 895 Certificate
Frame not included.
Modules: 6
Hours: 6
Sectors: Construction

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Course 895 Deck Barge Safety

Key Topics

  • Deck Barge Basics
  • Regulation of Workplace Safety on Deck Barges
  • Slips, Trips, and Falls
  • Preventing Elevated Falls
  • Falling Overboard
  • Personal Floatation Devices
  • Maintenance and Safety
  • Equipment Operator Safety
  • Confined and Enclosed Space Hazards
  • Identifying Toxic Atmospheres
  • Fire and Electrical Hazards
  • Fuel Storage
  • Ventilation
  • Training Requirements

Target Audience

  • Employee
  • Supervisor
  • Manager
  • Contractor

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Course Introduction

NASA tugboat navigates a barge containing liquid oxygen.
(Click to enlarge)

A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed or pushed by towboats.

A deck barge is a manned or unmanned barge that has a continuous, flat main deck. It is used to carry deck cargo and is also used in the marine construction industry for such work as pier or bulkhead construction, dredging, bridge construction and maintenance, and marine oil service. These types of vessels are not self-propelled.

Employees on barges and other vessels can face serious hazards. Between 1997 and 2006, 305 employees were killed on barge/tow combinations, and 379 explosions or fires occurred on barges or towboats, killing 14 employees. Some examples of these incidents include the following:

  • An employee was setting a steel pile upright in the water. The steel pile was being held upright by a chain connecting it to the barge. A large boat passed by the barge, creating a wake. The barge moved and the steel pile fell, pivoting on the chain. The steel pile struck the employee on the back of the head, killing him.
  • An employee carrying a right angle grinder attempted to step from one barge to another by using a barge rope. He lost his balance and fell into the river between the two barges. He was not wearing a life vest. Rescue efforts were unsuccessful and the employee drowned.
  • An employee was standing on a barge with a coworker, waiting for a personnel basket to land on the barge. He was holding a small sheet of plywood. He stepped back, stumbled on a board, and fell over the side of the barge into 12 feet of water. He was not wearing a life vest. Rescue attempts by his coworkers with a life ring failed and he drowned.

Approximately 4,000 deck barges operate in the United States, using different types of winches and other equipment in a variety of operations. Many injuries and deaths could be prevented with proper controls, procedures, training, and awareness of hazards and possible solutions.

This course presents guidance on preventing injuries and illnesses from workplace hazards on deck barges. In the following modules, the major physical hazards of concern are highlighted and steps to address them are outlined, along with resources for additional information.


To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.

  1. Deck Barge Basics
  2. Slips, Trips and Falls
  3. Falling Overboard
  4. Equipment Operator Safety
  5. Confined/Enclosed Space Hazards
  6. Fire and Electrical Hazards

Please login to your student dashboard to access and download this FREE course PDF studyguide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.

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Course 895 Final Exam

Exam score sheet

After studying the course material and answering the quiz questions, it is time to take the final exam. We highly recommend answering the module quiz questions to check your understanding of the course material. The final exam questions are typically developed from these quiz questions.

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to make sure students have gained a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a passing score on course final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams: as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

This is an open book exam. Students are permitted to use a separate browser window to review course content while taking the exam. If you do not pass a final exam, you will see a "Retake Exam" button next to the course on your student dashboard.

If you have already paid for your certificate

If you have already paid for certificates, your exam score will be displayed on your student dashboard after successfully passing the final exam. If you chose PDF certificates, you can view and print your certificate and personal transcript from your student dashboard. If you chose original printed documents, they will be prepared and mailed to the address in your student account.

If you only want free training

OSHAcademy provides free access to all training materials, including course modules, practice quizzes, exercises, and final exams. However, exam scores, certificates, and transcripts are provided only if you purchase a certificate package to document your training. If you do not require official training documentation, we will archive your exam results should you decide to purchase official certificates later.

Take the Final Exam


1. American Waterways Operators Inter-region Safety Committee, Lesson Plan for Slip, Trip and Fall Prevention. (2002). Retrieved from:

2. Safety on Barges, Do’s and Don’ts of Barging, The Barge Association. Retrieved from:

3. Deck Engineer on Barge Dies When Struck by Crane Counterweight, Washington State Dept. of Labor. Retrieved from:

4. Spud Barge Safety, OSHA Fact Sheet DSC (2009). Retrieved from: