As the summer boating season begins, marinas, boat yards and clubs are staffing up. These seasonal employees, sometimes high school, college students or part-timers, are responsible for refueling hundreds of boats at the gas dock. But do they have the training to prevent a fuel spill?
Utilizing a grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the BoatUS Foundation offers a critical learning tool for seasonal fuel-dock employees: “Spill Prevention and Response for Marina Staff. The free online course, which can be taken at any time at BoatUS.org/spill-prevention, is designed to minimize risk and give seasonal staff the ability to protect marinas and the environment.
The spill-prevention, planning and response course offers videos, interactive exercises and interviews with spill responders, marina owners and managers. The BoatUS Foundation encourages marinas and clubs to have their new fuel dock staff complete the course just after they are hired.
The course looks at practical topics, such as how to know when a boat fuel tank is full, as well as a look at different types of oil and fuel products at marinas and how they are handled safely; how prevent and to prepare for spill events and the best steps to take if one happens; the impacts on the environment; and the laws that impact refueling facilities.
“The best part is that all you need is a computer with Internet access to train new hires in the basics of spill prevention,” said BoatUS Foundation Vice President Susan Shingledecker. It takes about 1-2 hours for the average learner to complete. “Course takers can stop anytime and later start right back up where they left off,” she added. More than 800 have taken the course to date.
While the course does not provide HAZWOPER certification and is designed for new marina staff, included throughout are management tips to provide additional information to more senior staff. A short video that explains the course is at https://youtu.be/5__dGYyDKkc.
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