Construction barge safety

Barges used for commercial purposes are domestic commercial vessels and need to meet marine safety regulations.  

These regulations are set out in the National Law and apply to commercial barges across the construction industry, including barges used as work platforms and those that transport equipment, supplies or waste. 

Construction barges undertake a variety of different high-risk tasks. The increasing serious incidents, including fatalities, highlight the need for everyone working on a construction barge to meet the general safety duties under the National Law. This will ensure the safety on the barge, those on board, and the surrounding environment.  

There are also certification requirements for the design, manufacture, and equipment required on board construction barges and their operational use.   

These AMSA requirements are in addition to your Workplace Health and Safety obligations and assist to manage the specific risks unique to working in the maritime environment. 

Learn more about how to manage risks to safety involved with the operation of construction barges and your AMSA obligations under the National Law through this campaign website.   

In the second quarter of 2022 AMSA will be conducting a focused inspection campaign on construction barge operations to measure compliance against these requirements.

Key risks

Marine construction work involves a unique set of risks that are quite different to onshore construction work. This includes a variety of key risk areas, all with different high-risk tasks.  

Key risk areas include stability, access and personal safety and relocating unpowered barges. 

To keep your vessel and your team safe, barge owners and operators should regularly review individual risks to reflect the operation your barge is performing.