If you're not completely in the know about the protections you need to apply to your crafts, then the guidelines posted by various government agencies might be a good place to start. Checking out the OSHA maritime page will lead you to a fact sheet particularly pertaining to "spud barges." But what exactly is a "spud"?

Well, the fact sheet defines a spud as a metal post that can be affixed to the deck of a ship, especially in the grander sense of the boat's structural support. The reason this might still be considered a "hot topic" by OSHA is the amount of care needed during installation, in order to avoid losing these spuds or erecting them incorrectly.

One of the incidents mentioned in this sheet should serve as a reminder that a loose spud might cause inconvenience or major damage if it falls and impact another craft or dock. The crew involved could be killed, and it could happen quickly.

To counter this, OSHA suggests regularity in the way that they handle this important and potentially deadly procedure.

"Employers should provide initial and periodic training to employees on barges including, how to use securing pins to hold spuds safely in place before a barge is moved from one site to another," it reads.

Even though these guidelines were written in 2009, they can serve as a place to start as you evaluate the marine crew insurance and other packages you may want to purchase. Regular performance can also require the kind of standards that come from policies that follow the mandate of the law.

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