As a professional salvage company, it's good to abide by the most current industry standards for proper practice. It may be better, however, to constantly be on the lookout for ways to improve. The American Salvage Association includes this as one of their "salvage safety standards." Members are encouraged to not just be safe, but to take an active role in promoting safety through recommendations and review.
But what exactly are the best practices for this industry? They may eventually include paying more attention to environmental impact. Pollution Prevention Survey figures cited by the International Salvage Union show an increase in the amount of pollutants salvaging companies prevented between 2015 and 2014. The more recent survey shows approximately 230,465 more pollutants were prevented, including oil cargo, chemicals and bunker fuel.
In a statement addressing these numbers, ISU President John Witte identified the necessity of environmental awareness in the salvage industry.
"Salvors provide vital services to both the shipping industry and wider society," Witte said. "Shipping is much safer than it was even twenty years ago, but everyone in the industry should be aware that just one major casualty could cause an environmental catastrophe. And in many cases it is only professional, commercial salvors who are able to intervene."
This is one example of how priorities within the salvage industry might shift to address different threats. Through it all, though, employee safety remains crucial. Last August, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited Waukesha Iron & Metal, a metal recycling company, for $42,000 worth of penalties for forklift safety violations.
As salvage companies update their safety practices, it might also suit them to find new company insurance that is more appropriate. For this, it may make more sense to work with someone who already knows the industry and what needs to be included in a salvage diver insurance package.