Any individual organization or industry can have a dozen regulators governing best practices in safety. The maritime industry is no different.
When it comes to the health, safety, and security of the U.S. waterborne transportation system and merchant marines, the leader of the regulatory pack is the Maritime Safety Administration within the Department of Transportation. It shares authority for regulating industry safety with OSHA.
As a safety professional in the maritime industry, it’s your responsibility to understand the regulations issued under both agencies.
What is MARAD, and what is its role in relation to your organization? Here’s what you need to know to keep your organization compliant.
What Is the Maritime Safety Administration?
The Maritime Safety Administration (MARAD) is a specialized agency within the Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation. This is a multifaceted role – and a busy one.
MARAD’s programs promote the use of waterborne transportation in the United States and the seamless integration of waterborne transportation into the larger transportation systems of the U.S. It works in a wide variety of areas, including:
- Port operations
- Vessel operations
- Maritime environment
- Maritime security and safety
- National security
They are also responsible for maintaining the health of U.S. merchant marines. The agency also maintains a reserve fleet of cargo ships to provide sea-lifts during national emergencies and war.
The Role of MARAD
As you can see, the role of MARAD as part of the larger Department of Transportation is quite complex.
In basic terms, MARAD’s job is to support the maritime industry and maritime transportation system in all its facets.
Within that role, MARAD’s role is far-reaching. After all, it may be tasked to handle anything from mariner health to supporting the maritime economy to landside infrastructure and regulating maritime labor.
Think of MARAD as a jack of all trades agency responsible for managing the U.S. maritime industry alongside other regulatory agencies such as OSHA.
MARAD’s Safety Role
MARAD and OSHA intersect the most when it comes to MARAD’s role as a safety regulator and educator.
The U.S. Coast Guard used to be part of MARAD’s safety mission, but it was integrated into the Department of Homeland Security on February 25, 2003. Currently, MARAD maintains an Office of Safety which develops and coordinates the agency’s response to safety issues within the industry.
This office functions the most like OSHA, developing standards to govern maritime safety and promotes the development of procedures and technologies to improve safety in the maritime industry.
Simplifying Safety in Maritime
The Maritime Safety Administration is one of the biggest regulators of the maritime industry, and it’s your responsibility to understand their guidance. The question is knowing where to start.
That’s where we come in.
Our compliance software makes it easy for your team to know where you stand, no matter how many regulatory agencies you have to account for.
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