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November 24th, 2014

2 Shipyards Cited by OSHA for Safety Violations

Two U.S. shipyards were face penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after being cited for health and safety violations.

Colonna’s Shipyard, Inc., in Norfolk, Virginia, received 12 violations for a proposed $101,000 in penalties after an inspection in May. The violations included:

  • Unguarded manholes that exposed workers to potential falls of up to 30 feet.
  • No fall protection on a barge, exposing workers to falls of more than 18 feet.
  • Defective equipment, exposing workers to electrical hazards while welding.
  • Workers using damaged electrical equipment and unguarded machinery.
  • Additional guarding, electrical, and fire extinguisher hazards.

The Virginia shipyard repairs Navy vessels, barges, ferryboats and tugboats.

“Colonna’s Shipyard must do a better job of protecting workers from the dangers associated with this type of work. With the right safeguards, accidents are preventable,” said Dan DeWease, director of OSHA’s Norfolk Area Office, in a press release.

Austal USA ship building company in Mobile, Alabama, received 12 citations for a proposed $41,500 in fines. The violations OSHA cited the company for include:

  • Lack of standards railings on all staircases, exposing workers to fall hazards
  • Allowing worker overexposure to copper fumes while welding
  • Filing to enforce worker safety procedures
  • Using temporary cable instead of permanent wiring
  • Mislabeling hazardous chemicals
  • Failing to ensure temporary wiring wasn’t damaged

The companies have 15 business days after receiving the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA director DeWease, or contest the findings with the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Shipyard workers who are injured on the job may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). If you were hurt or fell ill while working at a shipyard, you may be entitled to benefits for medical costs, disability payments, and rehabilitation costs.

The shipyard injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers have represented hundreds of workers and helped them recover the compensation to which they are entitled. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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