MAN ALOFT SAFETY
Since many areas on the exterior of a ship that
contain radar equipment are inaccessible from decks or
built-in work platforms, someone must go aloft to
work in these areas. We define aloft as any mast,
kingpost, or other structure where the potential for a
fall exists. Probably the greatest hazard associated
with working aloft is the danger of a fall. Other hazards
include electrical shock, radiation burns, asphyxiation
from stack gasses, and the dropping of objects.
As long as nearby equipment is turned off, you
should not have to worry about receiving a shock from
current generated by the equipment. However, you
must be aware of the possibility of shock due to static
charges. Static charges are caused by electrically
charged particles that exist naturally in the water.
Under certain conditions these charged particles
collect on metallic objects such as wire antennas and
produce a shock hazard. You can eliminate this hazard
by grounding these objects. Shocks from static charges
will not harm you directly, but the surprise of such a
shock may cause you to fall.
WORKING ALOFT CHECK SHEET
Because of the associated dangers, no one may go
aloft on masts, stacks, or kingposts without first
obtaining permission from the Officer of the Deck
(OOD), as prescribed by the Navy Occupational Safety
and Health (NAVOSH) Program Manual for Forces
Afloat, OPNAVINST 5100.19 series. Before granting
permission, the OOD must ensure that the Working
Aloft Check Sheet (fig. 3-4) has been properly
completed and routed. When the ship is underway, the
commanding officers permission is required to work
aloft. The OOD will ensure that appropriate signal
flags are hoisted. (KILO for personnel working aloft;
KILO THREE for personnel working aloft and over the
side.) Before the work begins and every 15 minutes
thereafter, he will have the word passed over the 1 MC,
R A D I AT E
A N Y
ELECTRICAL OR ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT
WHILE PERSONNEL ARE WORKING ALOFT.
Additionally the OOD will inform the ships in the
vicinity that personnel will be working aloft to ensure
that they take appropriate action on the operation of
their electrical and electronic equipment. Departments
concerned must ensure that all radio transmitters and
radars that pose radiation hazards are placed in the
STANDBY condition and that a sign reading
SECURED. PERSONNEL ALOFT. DATE _______
TIME _______ INITIALS ________ is placed on
You should always check your ships instruction
(Man Aloft Bill) for specific guidance before you go
aloft. Here are some general guidelines to follow when
you go aloft:
1. Use a climber sleeve assembly in conjunction
with the safety harness where a climber safety
rail is installed.
2. Attach safety lanyards to all tools, if practical.
Never carry tools up and down ladders. Rig a
line and raise or lower your tools in a safe
3. Stop work when the ship begins to roll in excess
of 10 degrees, or to pitch in excess of 6 degrees,
when wind speed is greater than 30 knots, and
when an ice storm or lightning threatens.
4. Be sure the petty officer-in-charge has marked
off an area below the zone of work and keeps all
unnecessary personnel clear. If the slightest
chance of danger exists, have personnel in the
area moved to safety.
5. Read all safety placards posted in the area before
you begin the work.
6. Wear personal protective equipment, such as
hearing protection, goggles, gloves, or a
respirator for hazards other than RFR.
7. When you perform hot work, replace the
personal safety and staging or boatswain chair
fiber lines with wire rope. Personal safety lines
must consist of CRESS wire rope.
Most ships in todays Navy are aviation capable.
Any loose materials or tools that you leave in an
outside work area may become foreign object damage
(FOD) material. FOD material can be sucked into
aircraft engines (causing extensive damage) or blown
around by engine exhaust or rotor wash (possibly
injuring someone). You must learn the importance of
foreign object damage (FOD) control. Supervisory
personnel are responsible for ensuring that assigned
personnel who work on the mast and other topside
areas receive training on the importance of FOD
control. After completing any work topside, you must
ensure that all tools and materials are removed from the
work area. Metallic items left in these areas may also
create electromagnetic interference problems.