Norfolk, Va. – Colonna’s Shipyard faces $101,000 in proposed penalties from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) after a May inspection.
OSHA found 12 violations in total, with four of them repeats of similar hazards found in 2010 and accounting for $85,000 of the penalties.
“Shipyard work is traditionally hazardous, with an injury and accident rate more than twice that of construction and general industry,” said Dan DeWease, director of OSHA’s Norfolk Area Office. “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.”
The inspection found that while welding the frame of a U.S. Navy vessel, a shipyard worker was just one foot away from three open manholes that exposed the employee to potential falls of up to 30 feet.
In addition to the unguarded manholes, OSHA inspectors determined that fall protection was not provided for employees working on a barge, which exposed them to a potential fall of more than 18 feet. Inspectors also found that, because of defective equipment, employees were exposed to a number of electrical hazards while welding.
Colonna’s Shipyard was also cited for four serious violations, with a $16,000 penalty, for expecting workers to use damaged electrical equipment and unguarded machinery.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. Four additional violations were cited for other guarding, electrical and fire extinguisher hazards.
Colonna’s Shipyard has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet informally with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the Norfolk Area Office at 757-441-3820.