Safety Leadership

Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership

Established in 1995, the Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership is the oldest public-private partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard and its stakeholders. The Safety Partnership’s mission is to improve vessel and personnel safety within the barge and towing industry, enhance the protection of the environment along our nation’s waterways, and strengthen the communication and working relationship between the Coast Guard and the barge and towing industry. Since its establishment, the Safety Partnership has been distinguished by its non-regulatory, data-driven, results-oriented approach.

The Safety Partnership is comprised of a National Quality Steering Committee and three Regional Quality Steering Committees – the Mid-America, Atlantic, and Pacific. Together, these committees have launched more than 40 cooperative initiatives to advance marine safety and environmental stewardship. At the national level, accomplishments include recommendations to reduce towing vessel crew fatalities, best practices to prevent tank barge and towing vessel oil spills, and, most recently, guidance to enhance cyber risk management in the barge and towing industry.

Read the U.S. Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership Agreement (1995)  here.

Coast Guard-AWO Safety Partnership Initiatives Completed or Underway

  • National Quality Steering Committee
    • Towing Vessel Crew Fatalities Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Tank Barge Spills Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Towing Vessel Boarding Program Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Major and Medium Tank Barge Spills Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Bridge Allision Work Group (completed)
    • Towing Safety Working Group (completed)
    • Safe Management of Crew Travel Time Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Crew Endurance Management Working Group (in progress)
    • Towing Vessel Inspection Bridging and Implementation Team #6 (completed)
    • Crew Fatalities Quality Action Team (1995) (completed)
    • Implementation Team (in progress)
    • Strawman Towing Industry Safety System (completed)
    • Crew Endurance Working Group (completed)
    • Reducing Fall-Overboard Crew Fatalities Quality Action Team (completed)
  • Mid-America Regional Quality Steering Committee
    • Mid-America RQSC Charter
      • Pollution Prevention Regulations Study (completed)
      • Inland Towing Vessel Guide to Federal Oil Transfer Procedures (completed)
      • River Crisis Action Plan (completed)
      • Cooperative Towboat Examination Program (completed)
      • Aids to Navigation Quality Action Team - Upper Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri Rivers (completed)
      • Aids to Navigation Quality Action Team - Ohio, Tennessee, Monongahela, Allegheny, Cumberland, and Tombigbee (completed)
      • Barge Fleeting on the Mississippi River Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Recommended Practices for Bunker Barges (completed)
      • Regional Examination Center Consistency quality Action Team (completed)
      • Barge Inspection Consistency Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Downstreaming Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Industry Orientation Modules Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Aids to Navigation Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Streamlined Inspection Process Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Waterways Action Plan (completed)
      • Eighth District Casualty Quality Action Team (in progress)
      • Outreach, Education and Training Quality Action Team(in progress)
      • Tracking CDC Barges Without IRVMC Quality Action Team (in progress)
  • Atlantic Region Quality Steering Committee
    • Atlantic RQSC Charter
      • Hurricane Preparedness Plan Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Visibility Standards for Pilothouse Personnel Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Industry Training and Orientation Program Quality Action Team (completed)
      • Port Coordination Quality Action Team (in progress)
      • Fatality and Casualty Data Analysis Quality Action Team (completed)
  • Pacific Region Quality Steering Committee
    • Towing Industry Incident Reporting System Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Vessel Safety Alerts: Lessons Learned Information Exchange (completed)
    • Crew Alertness Quality Action Team (completed)
    • Alaska Towing Vessel Ice and Cold Weather Operation Guidelines (completed)
  • Other Initiatives
    • Regional Risk Assessment of Petroleum Transportation, Northeast U.S. (completed)