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

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  • $ PDF & Original
  • $ Original
  • $ PDF

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Employees on deck barges 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. This course presents guidance on preventing injuries and illnesses from workplace hazards to which workers are exposed on over 4,000 deck barges that operate in the United States.

Free Training

As an OSHAcademy student, you can access 100% of our training materials for free, including our module quizzes and course exams. We only charge a small fee if you decide to document your training with our official course certificates or transcripts.

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

Course 895 Final Exam

OSHAcademy course final exams are designed to help ensure students demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the content covered within each course. To help demonstrate this understanding, students must achieve a minimum score of 70% on final exams. It is OSHAcademy's policy to protect the integrity of our exams and, as a result, we do not provide missed questions to students.

After you have studied all of the course material and taken the module quizzes, you can take the final exam. The module quizzes are optional, but we highly recommend you take each quiz, as the questions are similar to those on the final exam.

This is an open book exam. As you are taking the exam, if you find a question you are unsure of, you should use the course study guide or course web pages to research the correct answer. Don't worry if you fail the exam. You can study and retake the exam when you are ready.

If you have already paid for a Certificate Program

If you have already paid for your certificates, your exam score will be displayed in your student dashboard next to the course. You will also be able to view or print the course PDF certificate if you purchased this option. Your PDF transcript will also be automatically updated to include the course.

If you only want free training

You are welcome to take all of our courses for free! We only charge a fee if you want certificates, transcripts and exam scores to document your training. If you have not made a payment for your certificate, we will archive your exam results and you will see "Completed!" next to the course if you passed the exam. If you did not pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher, you will need to retake the exam.

Take the Final Exam

Take the Final Exam

Course 895 Study Guide. You can save this study guide to your computer for offline studying, or print the study guide if you prefer.


1. Deck Barge Safety, OSHA Pub 3358-01N (2009). Retrieved from:

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

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

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

5. Barge Mounted Floated Crane, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). Retrieved from:

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

7. OSHA Instruction CPL 02-01-047, OSHA (2010). Retrieved from: