Federal workplace safety regulators have cited a Mississippi shipyard for 50 safety violations, including failure to prevent slip and fall hazards, and improper storage of inflammable materials.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Huntington Ingalls Industries with a total of 50 safety violations and proposed penalties that total $176,444. According to the federal agency, the penalty came after an inspection by the agency that was conducted in June. The feds began the inspection after they received a complaint about the presence of safety hazards at the shipyard.
During the inspection, the inspectors found several violations, including the dispensing of inflammable materials in unsafe containers, blocked exits, and slip and fall hazards. Inspectors also found that dangerous materials like arsenic, cadmium, and lead dust were allowed to accumulate in eating areas.
At least five subcontractors of Huntington Ingalls received citations for several electrical and other safety hazards. These companies have been given a period of 15 days to appeal the citations. Huntington Ingalls says that that the company monitors the safety of the shipyard regularly, and is focused on continual improvement in workplace conditions. According to Huntington Ingalls, injury rates in Pascagoula are down in 2010 and 2011 by 8% and 15%, respectively.
The term ‘maritime worker’ refers not just to seamen who are covered under the Jones Act and work on vessels, but also to those who work in harbors, ports, shipyards, and the shipbuilding industry. These workers are also at risk of injuries caused by employer negligence across the country and failure to provide safe working conditions. These workers are covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, which provides compensation depending on the types of injuries suffered.
The maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent longshoremen, stevedores, crane operators and other maritime workers covered under the LHWCA.