Much effort has been spent by the offshore and maritime industries in order to improve the safety of the vessels and installations. However, accidents such as Slips, Trips & Falls (STFs) still need to be particularly addressed since their likelihood and severity are often underestimated. According to a study by Jensen et al. [1], they cause more than 40% of non-fatal injuries onboard and a study by the American Club P&I [2] asserts they are responsible for 23% of the cost of claims for illness and injury. The best way to prevent personnel from slipping, tripping and falling is to integrate safety early in the design of the ships or offshore installations. This paper describes the way a classification society has developed guidelines based on ergonomic design principles in order to improve the design of the means of access onboard ships. The outcome of this exercise is to increase the safety of surveyors, seafarers and sea-going personnel who inspect, operate or work aboard the vessels. The methodology we used featured a two step approach: a risk analysis based on feedback from surveyors and other sources was performed; an anthropometric analysis was then used to establish the guidelines. Both exercises are detailed in the paper along with the resulting guidance. We show how this work is a first step towards a more general methodology for the inclusion of ergonomic consideration in the design process.

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