Boats and Employee Safety

Do Accident Prevention Program rules apply to boats operating on state waters?

Yes, the same Accident Prevention Program (APP) rules that apply to workplaces on land also apply when boats with non-federal employees operate on lakes, some rivers, and other Washington State-regulated waters.

APP and other workplace safety and health rules also apply to publicly operated work vessels, such as state-run ferries, even when they operate on federal waters.

On land or water, the employer is responsible for ensuring workplace safety and health rules are followed.On the water, the captain is the employer's representative.

Boats utilized as charter boats must also meet licensing, inspection, and documentation requirements established to ensure public safety. See L&I's "Charter Boats" Web page to learn more about these requirements.

For help clarifying which regulations apply to you, contact L&I at the numbers below, or contact the U.S. Coast Guard.



Enforcement policies


For topic-specific information, see also:

Confined Space
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) (Control of Hazardous Energy, Interlock Devices)
Longshore, Stevedore and Related Waterfront Operations, Safety Standards for
Outdoor Heat Exposure
Ship repairing, shipbuilding and shipbreaking