MOB Rescue with OSCAR - Water Rescue Training Dummy and C-Hero Lift.

Marine Safety Beyond Training

To ensure that marine employees are as safe as possible working on the water, water safety and man-overboard protection need to be built-in to the culture of the organization. However, studies have shown that occasional training programs are not as effective in ensuring safety. Water Safety Programs need to be demonstrated starting at the leadership level to be most effective. Making water safety part of the company culture. Pairing training with investment in water safety products and mechanisms help to make this a natural part of the culture.
In a 2018 research essay written by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev in Anthropology Today, studies show that short-term changes in training programs are not as effective as they should be. Dobbin and Kalev mention, “sometimes a short-term change occurs in attitudes, but very few find a widespread change in actual behavior.” Dobbin and Kalev offer a few reasons why these programs generally don’t work as intended.

Why Water Safety Training Programs Don’t Always Work

First, “short-term educational interventions, in general, do not change people.” This is true for worker safety courses. Second, some researchers argue that the training activates stereotypes in people’s minds rather than eliminating them. Third, training can make people complacent, thinking that because they went through the program they’ve solved the problem. Fourth, people don’t like to be told what to think and may rebel if they feel that they’re being pressured to think a certain way. Therefore it’s imperative for a successful training program to implement a solid policy to effect change, not a “check the box” culture that is easily dismissed.

Water Safety Needs to Start with Leadership

Emerald Marine Products has manufactured safety products for the maritime industry since 1996 and has partnered with dozens of other safety training institutions and product manufacturers. We have seen the successful implementation of safety procedures when the executive level of the company invests in product and policy creation that is used every day, not just quarterly or annually as required by some certification agencies. By instituting at the executive level it trickles into the entire company culture, making it feel intuitive and natural., When employees watch their leaders place a high value on safety and products that save lives, they will accept the reasoning behind use, training, and testing.

When our ALERT Man-Overboard Alarm System is part of the employee’s gear and tested every shift, it becomes second nature that a fall overboard situation could occur, the actions to reduce the possibility of a MOB is top of mind. This solidifies the learning by the employee.

Fighting Complacency and Building Confidence of Water Safety Training

One of our partner companies C-Hero goes one step further in engaging employees with their MOB retrieval products. C-Hero offers an e-Training program on their products and the process of recognizing a MOB incident and the procedures to retrieve the MOB. The training instructs the employees but also provides accountability of the training, including the requirement for the employee to be video recorded and submitting that video for certification. It almost becomes a “badge of honor” that the employee has demonstrated their ability and dedication to the life-saving procedure.

A Company Dedicated Solely to Water Safety Equipment and Training

Investment in dedicated equipment and “Practice Makes Permanent” is a thorough way of instilling a successful water safety program. When it comes to fall overboard awareness, practice, and retrieval, Emerald Marine Products offers products and partnerships that can be your one-source solution for instilling a MOB awareness/prevention safety culture. Let Emerald Marine Products guide you on safety solutions that best meet your company’s needs. Contact EMP via our Contact Us webpage or phone us at 800-426-4201. Make your safety training programs effective, long-lasting, and a constant part of your company’s culture.


SCF Lewis & Clark Fleeting have excellent MOB procedures and testing in place!

When Deckhands or Shore-Side Workers go Missing

We are not addressing work stoppage, strikes or just plain no-show incidents. We are addressing when a worker who executes their job on or near water suddenly disappears. Potentially into the water!

Any company that has employees working on or near water grapples with the concern of a Fall Overboard or MOB incident. It’s in the back of their safety-conscious mind every day. Does it keep them up at night? Hopefully not. The truth is most companies that work on or near water have a plethora of safety issues to deal with. In Emerald Marine Products’ experience, a MOB is one of those “put it on the back shelf” concerns. Statistically, it’s not a top safety concern but the implications of an MOB are far greater than a fall, collision, or medical issue.

A non-fatal MOB will most certainly cause a work stoppage, a potential medical issue and possibly a lawsuit. A fatal Mob will most certainly cause a work stoppage, an investigation by law enforcement, a potential medical issue and most certainly a lack of confidence from the employees and a lawsuit. The financial cost of a non-fatal or fatal MOB can be drastic. “That’s what we have insurance for” is not a defense for not having awareness of MOB issues and address the concern. Insurance may take care of some financial aspects of an MOB incident, but damage to the employees’ confidence, the company’s reputation and the soul retching guilt of the incident can be caustic to the companies future. On the last point alone, we have heard of a non-fatal MOB cause a suicide because the person in charge of the person who fell in the water (but survived) felt so guilty they didn’t better protect them.

You know MOB awareness, protection and rescue needs to be addressed, but where do you begin? As with any procedural change in an organization, change begins with education. Educate yourself and all stakeholders on what a MOB situation is. How vulnerable are your employees to such an incident? If your employees work on or near water, of course, the potential is there. But is the potential of a MOB increased due to; long work shifts, employees out-of-sight from other employees, weather extremes, inexperience, etc? As the potential grows, the implementation of a MOB plan is essential. What’s next?

You are determined to put an operational procedure in place to train your employees on both the hazards of an MOB and most important a response to a MOB. Emerald Marine Products has been manufacturing MOB alerting products for over twenty years. It is with our partnership with C-Hero, manufacture of MOB retrieval products, that our ability to offer companies a complete solution in awareness and retrieval of MOB incidents is complete. Emerald Marine Products and C-Hero have taken the mystery out of MOB awareness, operational execution and continued compliance.

First, begin with awareness. Outfitting any employee working on or near the water with proper protection such as Personal Floating Device (PFD), head, hand, footgear, VHF radio, personal light beacon, and our ALERT Man-Overboard Transmitter. Train your employees of root causes of potential fall situations (tripping on lines, fatigue, misplace objects). All employees working on or near water should be tested in MOB procedures regularly.

Actual MOB procedures can be easily found and adopted by your company if not already implemented. However, in our research, we have found most implementation is lax and irregular. Demand that all supervisors adhere to strict execution on both the exercise and frequency of the MOB test. Outfitting your company with a life-like victim such as our OSCAR – Water Rescue Training Dummy will provide years of easily maneuvered MOB testing procedures. An MOB drill should not use anything less than a full-grown adult victim in both size and weight. Using any training device not the size and weight of an adult is an affront to both your commitment to properly trained employees and the true readiness in the event an actual MOB occurs.

Realistically, what is the ability of your employees to provide a MOB retrieval in a timely manner? If your operation is shore-side and the water has a fast-moving current, how quickly will the person in the water be out of sight? Out of range of a local retrieval? This is a concern that needs to be addressed quickly. If the retrieval will come from another source, do employees in the rescue process know who to contact? Test it! If a local retrieval is possible (such as the boat the person just fell off of), is the rescuer’s ability to properly navigate the rescue boat and able to get the MOB out of the water in a timely fashion? Again, test it!

C-Hero makes several retrieval products to fit your company’s needs and budget. But in all safety procedures, the budget should not drive the solution. If your operation requires a device to lift a person out of the water, and no device exists on your boat, you need to budget for a lift. If all you need to get the MOB to the area where they can be safely lifted out of the water, then explore what type of retrieval product(s) will work best for the physical abilities of your employee. It is the repeated testing of a MOB drill that you will discover or confirm that your process is effective. If testing is frequent and consistent, you will see the level of confidence grow in your employees. Empowering them to be aware of a fall overboard concern will increase their vigilance of fellow employees’ whereabouts. Increasing the safety net within your company’s safety culture.

What about a safety culture once set and then management changes break down the compliance? C-hero has built a robust training and compliance application that is easy to administer. It allows for a step-by-step approach in MOB retrieval training. Once trained, the employee is video recorded in their participation in the training procedure. The video is then reviewed by management and given an approval rating. Annual compliance of each employee can be easily administered. The process can become the “heavy hand” that further institutes compliance within your company.

If Deckhands and Shore-Side Workers going missing is a concern of yours. If the responsibility of your employee’s well-being is a concern of yours, there are products and plans available to easily implement into your safety culture. Contact Emerald Marine Products to discuss your needs when addressing the issue of your employees working on or near water. Addressing your concerns now; before an unexpected event brings a costly accident to your attention.