ANNAPOLIS, Md. – As the summer boating season is underway, 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 – but do they have the training to prevent a fuel spill? With a grant from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the BoatUS Foundation now offers these seasonal employees a critical learning tool, “Spill Prevention and Response for Marina Staff,” at BoatUS.org/spill-prevention. “It’s all about minimizing risk,” said BoatUS Foundation Vice President Susan Shingledecker, “And giving seasonal fuel dock staff the ability to protect your marina and the environment.”
The free online course, which covers spill prevention, planning and response, offers videos, interactive exercises and interviews with spill responders, marina owners and managers, and can be taken at anytime. “It usually takes about an hour or so for a typical user, but if you get busy you can stop and later start right back up where you left off,” added Shingledecker. “We encourage marinas and clubs to have their new fuel dock staff complete the course just after they are hired, which will dovetail well with any marina’s on-the-job training effort.”
Spill Prevention and Response for Marina Staff does not provide HAZWOPER certification but covers the simple ways any seasonal employee can help prevent spills and safely respond should a spill occur as well as the simple steps they can take to prevent a spill at your marina. While the course is designed for new marina staff, included throughout are management tips to provide additional information to more senior staff.
The course looks at practical topics, such as how to know when a boat fuel tank is full. Additional content includes a look at different types of oil and fuel products at marinas and how to handle each safely, legally and carefully; impacts on the environment; ways to identify spill prone activities and best practices to prevent a spill; safety concerns and precautions needed with handling oil and fuel; how spill prevention and response laws impact refueling facilities; how to prepare for spill events; and know what steps to take if you have a spill.