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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Office of Safety

The Office of Safety (OS) is one of three offices that report to the Associate Administrator for Environment and Compliance. Our mission is to:

  • develop, coordinate, and oversee Agency matters related to maritime industry safety and maritime safety compliance, 
  • promote and encourage the development and application of best management practices, procedures, and technologies that reflect state-of-the-art improvements in maritime safety, and
  • develop national and international standards designed to enhance the efficiency and safety of the maritime industry

Standards and Regulations

The Office of Safety addresses the constantly-evolving regulatory standards and safety challenges facing the maritime community by coordinating Maritime Administration (MARAD) participation with other Federal agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration. We coordinate with the following organizations:

  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 
  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International.
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO): Maritime Safety Committee (MSC)
  • Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH)

Vessel Design and Operations

The Office of Safety establishes and maintains active collaboration with government/private sector groups engaged in developing best management practices related to maritime safety and safety compliance in areas such as vessel stability and structural soundness, engineering safety and maintenance, ship recycling, operational human factors, navigational safety and shipyard and marine terminal safety. Office staff participates in and contributes to the:

Marine Engineering

The Office of Safety supports naval architectural and marine engineering studies and projects and represents MARAD on technical government and industry committees and groups to include:

Safety Materials/Resources

The Office of Safety prepares and reviews position papers and proposed regulations. This office is also responsible for promoting an integrated maritime transportation system by managing programmatic technology assessments and identifying and promoting the transfer of related advanced technologies from other fields into the maritime field. See our Marine Administration Safety Manual Abstract and Ship Operations Cooperative Program Resources (below):