In November 2002, the Port of San Diego Ship Repair
Association (PSDSRA) developed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP) with OSHA’s
Regional Office located in San Francisco, CA (Region IX). Through this
Partnership, participants’ strive to instill a positive safety and health
culture among all levels engaged in the high hazard shipbuilding and repair
industry by protecting the 7,000 plus employees covered under the OSP. The main
purpose of the OSP is to eliminate the risk of catastrophic accidents and to
prevent serious injuries and illnesses to workers by establishing effective
safety and health management systems (SHMS). The Partnership’s main goals are to
prevent serious injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the shipbuilding and repair
industry and promote a positive safety and health environment.
Participants Significantly Reduce Injury and Illness Rates and Receive VPP
Since the OSP was implemented, two participants - BAE Systems (formerly
Southwest Marine) and Northrop Grumman/Continental Maritime of San Diego –
significantly reduced their injury and illness rates which helped them achieve
Voluntary Protection Programs’ (VPP) recognition, OSHA’s premier recognition
programs. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish cooperative
relationships that often result in increased management commitment and employee
involvement, and reduced worker compensation costs. In 2006, BAE Systems
achieved VPP recognition Star Status, and in 2007 Northrop Grumman/Continental
Maritime received VPP Merit Status.
For example, Northrop Grumman/Continental Maritime’s reduced their Days Away,
Restricted and Transfer (DART) rate from 12.07 in 2003 to 6.94 in 2007 – almost
a 43 percent reduction. This participant also reduced their Total Case Incident
Rate (TCIR) from 18.28 in 2003 to 10.09 in 2007 – almost a 45 percent reduction
and slightly below the most recent (2006) Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS)
national average of 10.70 for the shipbuilding and repair industry. Their DART
rate is almost at the 2006 BLS national average of 6.3.
OSP Identifies Key Industry Hazards and Improves Safety and Health
Management Systems of All Participants
The OSP first identified three key hazards in the industry to address:
respiratory irritation and systemic poisoning, confined spaces, and paint fumes.
Then all five partners developed and/or improved their SHMS by incorporating the
four critical elements of OSHA’s 1989 Guidelines: Management Commitment and
Employee Involvement, Worksite Analysis, Hazard Prevention and Control, and
Training for Employees, Supervisors, and Managers.
All five OSP participants improved their hazard identification, prevention, and
control capabilities, as well as increased employee involvement by offering
three safety and health training programs to employees (the Confined Space Entry
Program, the Respirator Protection Program, and the Emergency Rescue Program).
This helped employees become more involved in recognizing and abating hazards
throughout the workplace which ultimately led to fewer illnesses and injuries.
The annual verification inspections found zero violations per inspection of
partners compared to an average of 4.3 prior to the OSP forming.
OSP Benefits Experienced by Participants
Participants have experienced many benefits since the OSP was formed such as
increasing safety and health awareness in the shipbuilding and repair industry
and increasing the number of employees who are protected. However, one of the
biggest benefits experienced by the participants is improved relationships with
various stakeholders – including OSHA, employers in the industry, and employees
and unions. One of the earlier annual evaluations submitted by the OSP noted
that labor-management issues were presenting a major challenge, particularly for
the NASSCO participant. However, the OSP’s latest annual evaluation stated that
there had been a significant improvement in the relationship between employers
and employees – and was especially apparent during the verification inspections.
The two key objectives of the OSP are to prevent serious injuries, illnesses,
and deaths in the shipbuilding and repair industry and promote a positive safety
and health environment.
Origin: OSHA Region IX, San Francisco Regional Office
Partners: BAE Systems (formerly Southwest Marine), National Steel and
Shipbuilding (NASSCO), L3 Communications/PACORD, Northrop Grumman/Continental
Maritime of San Diego, and Pacific Repair and Fabrication, Inc.
Partnership Signed: November 2002
Industry: Ship Building and Repair / NAICS Code 336611, SIC Codes 3731
Source: Danielle Gibbs, Office of Partnerships and Recognition, National
Office OSPP Lead for Region IX and Nancy McCormick, OSPP Coordinator for Region
IX / September 2008