Safety First: Our Commitment to Safety and Security

by Don Barnes, Vice President of Customer Experience

Your safety and security is the highest priority at Marine Atlantic!

This commitment starts at the very top of our organization and involves every single employee. Within Marine Atlantic, we have 15 Occupational Health and Safety committees. These committees meet regularly and provide direction on corporate-wide safety initiatives, and their decisions are experienced every single day at every location. Whether it’s wearing appropriate safety equipment, regularly testing fire equipment and emergency procedures, or recognizing potential issues and taking immediate corrective action, our employees take their responsibilities very seriously to ensure everyone’s safety is protected.

From a security perspective, Marine Atlantic is subject to, and compliant with the regulations outlined in Transport Canada’s Domestic Ferries Security Regulations. In recent years, a number of initiatives have been implemented to enhance the security features at all of our facilities. The most noticeable for customers is our secure perimeter fencing and authorized access.

While most people understand the importance of safety and security in today’s public transportation environment, we do receive inquiries related to our procedures, especially related to accessing our facilities.

If you ever wondered why security fencing or authorized access to the terminal property is so important, this is a security requirement that Marine Atlantic must enforce under federal security regulations. We are not permitted to make exceptions; unauthorized persons (non-customers) cannot be permitted to our facilities without being accompanied by an authorized Marine Atlantic official. Customers and employees leaving our facilities must have the necessary documentation to re-enter.

Many customers ask why they are not permitted to return to the vehicle decks during the crossing.  The reason is to protect the safety and security of customers. While at sea, commercial cargo or vehicles may shift and potentially injure someone on the deck.  We recognize that this can sometimes be an inconvenience; however, we must put the safety of our passengers and crew as the first priority. When travelling with us, please remember to take all necessary belongings with you before leaving your vehicle.

Rest assured that our safety and security policies have been thoroughly examined and are strictly enforced. Safety is our top priority, and our employees take this seriously both at work and home. We please ask that you make it your top priority as well in everything you do.

Did You Know: The Port aux Basques Terminal Occupational Health and Safety committee was named “Committee of the Year” in 2012. The committee was chosen from over 3,100 registered Occupational Health & Safety Committees within the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.