SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS IN TOWING
The purpose of this appendix is to supplement the specific safety precautions for towing operations, as listed in this
manual, with the general safety precautions as published in OPNAVINST 5100.19ANavy Safety Precautions for Forces
Afloat (Ref 18).
A-2 SCOPE AND APPLICABILITY
The safety information contained m this Tow Manual is applicable to all afloat Naval Commands which become involved
in towing operations. These Commands include the United States Naval Ships (USNS) of the Military Sealift Command
(MSC) and its activities and the Marine Corps, when embarked in the aforementioned vessels and to the extent other-
wise determined by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. This information, in combination with the OPNAVINST
5100.19A series, comprises the Navy Occupational Safety and Health (NAVOSH) standards for towing operations as
required by the OPNAVINST 5100 23B series, Navy Occupational Safety and Health Program (Ref. 19). For additional
salvage safety information, consult the Ship Salvage Safety Technical Manual (NAVSHIPS 0994-001- 8014) (Ref. 20).
A-3 BASIC SAFETY PHILOSOPHY
Many safety studies have indicated that human error is a common cause of mishaps. Even though the failure of some
item of equipment may be listed as the "cause" of a mishap, the equipment often has failed because of an earlier human
error or oversight in design, manufacturing, maintenance or use of the equipment Therefore, all personnel must be
trained in the use of, and have ready access to, appropriate Navy technical manuals and other publications to guide them
in their operations. Consequently, the approach to achieving safety in towing operations is to:
Comply with and depend upon existing Navy parent documents such as the OPNAVINST 5100.19A series for
general policy and procedural guidelines, and refer to the pertinent Technical Manuals and Planned Maintenance
System ((PMS)) cards for specific information on operating commonly-used gear and equipment
Comply with and depend upon Navy technical manuals, such as this volume on towing, and manufacturers'
Encourage the use of systems safety analyses in which the overall system or activity of concern is planned and
reviewed from the standpoint of safety. Thus, such issues as the specific environment in which an operation is to be
conducted are considered and accounted for in planning. Consequently, there should be fewer omissions and an
increase in safety awareness among all personnel who may be involved. See paragraph 5-5 and Table 6-4 for a
discussion of factors of safety in the selection of towing components.
No list of safety precautions in towing can be comprehensive without the principles of good seaman-ship.
precautions stated herein and in the OPNAVINST 5100.19A series are basic and shall be adhered to.
The personnel involved in towing operations must be thoroughly trained, disciplined and equipped not only to perform
routine duties, but also to react appropriately to unusual or non-routine situations. The officers and crew of vessels
involved in towing operations should