Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
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Maritime Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/2010-120)

Regulations are current to 2023-11-14 and last amended on 2022-05-02. Previous Versions

PART 3Crew Accommodation (continued)

Mess Rooms (continued)

 The following things must be available at all times in mess rooms when employees are on board a vessel:

  • (a) a conveniently located refrigerator of a capacity sufficient for the number of employees using the mess room;

  • (b) facilities for hot beverages and cool water;

  • (c) non-combustible covered receptacles for the disposal of food waste or garbage; and

  • (d) adequate lockers for mess utensils and suitable facilities for washing utensils, if pantries are not directly accessible from mess rooms.

Sanitary Facilities

 All employees on vessels normally engaged on voyages of more than four hours’ duration must have access to sanitary facilities.

  •  (1) If feasible, separate sanitary facilities must be provided for men and women.

  • (2) If separate sanitary facilities are provided, each sanitary facility must be equipped with a door that is self-closing and clearly marked to indicate the sex of the employees for whom the facility is provided.

  • (3) If male and female employees use the same sanitary facilities, the doors to the facilities must be fitted with an inside locking device.

 Sanitary facilities for vessels engaged in voyages of more than four hours must be equipped with

  • (a) a minimum of one toilet, one wash basin and one tub or shower, provided at a convenient location for every group of not more than six persons who do not have a personal toilet, wash basin and tub or shower;

  • (b) taps that provide fresh water are clearly marked to indicate whether the water supply is hot or cold;

  • (c) wash basins made of vitreous china, vitreous enamelled iron or other material having a smooth and impervious surface that is not likely to crack, flake or corrode; and

  • (d) toilets that have

    • (i) a bowl of vitreous china or other suitable material,

    • (ii) a hinged seat,

    • (iii) a trap constructed in a manner that facilitates cleaning,

    • (iv) an adequate flush of water, and

    • (v) a soil pipe of adequate size that is constructed in a manner that facilitates cleaning and minimizes the risk of obstruction.

 Sanitary facilities must be located

  • (a) not more than one deck above or below each work place;

  • (b) if the vessel has sleeping quarters, close to the sleeping quarters of the employee for whom the sanitary facility is provided; and

  • (c) if feasible, within easy access of the navigating bridge and the machinery space or the engine room control centre.

 A sanitary facility must meet the following requirements:

  • (a) it must be completely enclosed by bulkheads that are solid and non-transparent;

  • (b) it must not be directly accessible from a dining area or galley or sleeping quarters, unless it is a part of that sleeping quarters’ private accommodation;

  • (c) if feasible, it must be directly accessible from a passageway; and

  • (d) if it contains more than one water closet, each water closet must be enclosed in a separate compartment fitted with a door and an inside locking device.


 If an employee is required to live on board a vessel, the employer must provide a laundry facility or other arrangement so that laundry can be done on a regular basis.

Open Deck

 If employees are required to live on board a vessel, they must be given access to a specified open deck when they are off-duty.


 A vessel of more than 3000 gross tonnage must have a ship’s office for use by employees of the deck and engine departments.

Recreational Facilities

 If an employee is required to live on board a vessel, a recreational facility must be furnished at a minimum with

  • (a) a bookcase that contains vocational and other books, the inventory of which must be adequate for the duration of the voyage and changed at reasonable intervals together with a facility for reading and writing;

  • (b) a radio capable of receiving broadcast on bands such as AM/FM/SW; and

  • (c) a television set equipped with electronic equipment capable of showing films, the inventory of which must be adequate for the duration of the voyage and changed at reasonable intervals.

Hospital Accommodation

  •  (1) The hospital accommodation required in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations must be easy to access and suitable to accommodate and promptly care for persons in need of medical care.

  • (2) If feasible, sanitary facilities containing a minimum of one toilet, one wash basin and one tub or shower must be provided for the exclusive use of the occupants of the hospital accommodation as required in accordance with the Marine Personnel Regulations, either as part of the accommodation or in close proximity to it.

Ventilation and Heating

  • SOR/2019-246, s. 247(F)
  •  (1) The system of ventilation for sleeping quarters and mess rooms must be controlled so as to maintain the air in a satisfactory condition and to ensure sufficient air circulation at all times.

  • (2) All sanitary facilities must have ventilation to the open air, independent of any other part of the accommodation.

  • (3) Each personal service room and galley must be ventilated to provide at least two changes of air per hour

    • (a) by mechanical means, if the room is normally used by 10 or more employees at any one time; or

    • (b) by mechanical means or natural ventilation through a window or similar opening, if the room is normally used by fewer than 10 employees and

      • (i) the window or opening is located on an outside wall of the room, and

      • (ii) not less than 0.2 m2 of unobstructed ventilation is provided for each of the employees who normally use the room at any one time.

  • (4) If an employer provides ventilation by mechanical means, the amount of air provided for a type of room set out in column 1 of the table to this subsection must be no less than that set out in column 2.


    Minimum Ventilation Requirements for Change Rooms, Sanitary Facilities and Shower Rooms

    Column 1Column 2
    ItemType of RoomVentilation Requirements in litres per second (l/s)
    1Change Room
    (a) for employees with clean work clothes(a) 5 l/s per m2 of floor area
    (b) for employees with wet or sweaty work clothes(b) 10 l/s per m2 of floor area; 3 l/s exhausted from each locker
    (c) for employees who work where work clothes pick up heavy odours(c) 15 l/s per m2 of floor area; 4 l/s exhausted from each locker
    2Sanitary Facility10 l/s per m2 of floor area; at least 10 l/s per toilet compartment
    3Shower Room10 l/s per m2 of floor area; at least 20 l/s per shower head
  • (5) If an employer provides for the ventilation of a galley or a canteen by mechanical means, the rate of change of air must be at least 9 l/s for each employee who is normally employed in the galley at any one time or for each employee who uses the canteen at any one time, as the case may be.

 In sleeping quarters and galleys, the temperature, measured one metre above the deck in the centre of the room or galley, if feasible, must be maintained at a level of not less than 18°C and not more than 29°C.

  •  (1) All vessels, except those regularly engaged in trade where temperate climatic conditions do not require it, must be equipped with air conditioning for crew accommodation, for any separate radio room and for any centralized machinery control room.

  • (2) Air conditioning systems must be designed to

    • (a) maintain the air at a satisfactory temperature and relative humidity as compared to outside air conditions;

    • (b) ensure a sufficient number of air changes in all air-conditioned spaces;

    • (c) take account of the particular characteristics of operations at sea;

    • (d) not produce excessive noises or vibrations; and

    • (e) facilitate cleaning and disinfection in order to prevent or control the spread of disease.

  •  (1) In all vessels in which a heating system is required, steam must not be used as a medium for heat transmission within crew accommodation.

  • (2) The heating system must be capable of maintaining the temperature in crew accommodations at a satisfactory level under normal conditions of weather and climate likely to be met within the trade in which the vessel is engaged.

  • (3) Radiators and other heating apparatus must be placed and, where necessary, shielded so as to avoid risk of fire, danger or discomfort to the occupants.

  • (4) If weather and climate conditions so require, power for the operation of the air conditioning, heating and other aids to ventilation must be available at all times when employees are living or working on board the vessel.

PART 4Sanitation


 In this Part, communicable disease has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Quarantine Act.


  •  (1) Every employer must maintain each personal service room, galley and pantry used by employees in a clean and sanitary condition.

  • (2) Each personal service room and galley must be cleaned at least once every day that it is used.

  •  (1) If a vessel is in operation, an inspection must be made once a week of

    • (a) the supplies of food and water on the vessel;

    • (b) all spaces and equipment used for the storage and handling of food; and

    • (c) the galley and equipment used for the preparation and service of food.

  • (2) A record of each inspection, made in accordance with subsection (1), must be kept by the employer on the vessel for a period of three years after the day on which the inspection is made.

 All cleaning and sweeping that may cause dusty or unsanitary conditions must be carried out in a manner that will prevent the contamination of the air by dust or other substances injurious to health.

 If an interior deck on a vessel is normally wet and employees on the vessel do not use non-slip waterproof footwear, the deck must be covered with a dry false floor or platform or treated with a non-slip product or substance.

 Each container that is used for solid or liquid waste in a work place must

  • (a) be equipped with a tight-fitting cover;

  • (b) be constructed so that it can be easily cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition;

  • (c) be leak-proof; and

  • (d) if there may be internal pressure in the container, be designed so that the pressure is relieved by controlled ventilation.

  •  (1) If feasible, each enclosed part of a work place, personal service room, galley or pantry must be constructed, equipped and maintained in a manner that will prevent the entry of vermin.

  • (2) If vermin have entered any enclosed part of a work place, personal service room, galley or pantry, the employer must immediately take all steps necessary to eliminate the vermin and prevent their re-entry.

 A person must not use a personal service room for the purpose of storing equipment or supplies unless a closet fitted with a door is provided in that room for that purpose.

  •  (1) All reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that personal service rooms are kept mold and mycosis free.

  • (2) In each personal service room and galley, the decks, partitions and bulkheads must be constructed so that they can be easily cleaned and maintained in a sanitary condition.


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