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COMMERCIAL BOATING

New Lifejacket Laws

New Lifejacket Laws for a Safer Maritime Working Environment

Marine and Safety Tasmania has written to Tasmanian maritime operators informing them of new requirements for wearing life jackets while working in smaller boats such as auxiliary vessels and dinghies.

From July 1, people on board commercial vessels that measure less than six metres in length, as well as motor propelled auxiliary vessels, will need to wear approved life jackets when the vessels are proceeding under power. Similar requirements exist for recreational boaters.

The measures originated from meetings held with peak industry body representatives during 2008, which agreed generally on the need for tighter life jacket requirements for commercial operators in smaller vessels.

Since then, MAST has been developing the necessary legislation, which has now been passed by Parliament.

Wearing, rather than stowing a life jacket means a safer working environment and many operators have been adopting this policy for some time.

An exemption to the new requirement covers people who are wearing a wetsuit and are preparing to dive for commercial purposes, or who have just completed diving.

The new legislation also requires the owner of a vessel to ensure that each life jacket on the vessel is maintained in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer of the life jacket.

The new life jacket requirements - Marine and Safety (Safe Operation) Amendment Regulations 2009 - can be viewed by accessing the link: www.thelaw.tas.gov.au. (click here)