OSHA’s New Safety Rules To Prevent Shipyard Accidents

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the publication of a final rule for shipyard worker safety.  The final rule has been published in the May 2 Federal Register, and is meant to be an update to earlier shipyard regulations that have been left unchanged for decades.

Shipyard worker safety rules were established back in 1972, and were developed for a different kind of workplace.  Since then, technologies used in the shipyard industry have changed significantly, and the challenges facing workers have kept pace.  In a situation like this, it has become important for the Occupational Safety and Health Registration to address the specific health and safety issues facing shipyard workers.

The new rule addresses many of these issues.  For instance, maritime attorneys have been concerned about the fact that there has been little attention paid to workers during transportation.  The new rule makes it mandatory for shipyard workers to wear seatbelts while driving inside the shipyard.  This rule will help save as many as 20 shipyard worker deaths every year.  Besides, the new rule also provides for more numbers of trained first aid providers in a shipyard, as well as minimum lighting standards for certain work areas.

Overall, the final rule addresses a wide variety of shipyard worker challenges, including motor vehicle and pedestrian worker safety, emergency medical services, lighting, sanitation and other topics.

Shipyard workers may be covered under a special branch of maritime law called the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.  If you are an injured shipyard or ship building worker, contact a maritime attorney at our firm for a free consultation.