Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-08
Thurs., Jan. 18, 2001
Contact: Les Grove
Phone: (803) 765-5904
OSHA FINES SHIPTECH AMERICA $31,000 FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT AT NORTH CHARLESTON SHIPYARD
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Shiptech America, LLC, and proposed penalties totaling $31,150 following a fatal accident at a North Charleston shipyard.
According to Les Grove, OSHA's Columbia, S.C., area director, a Shiptech America employee was electrocuted while troubleshooting an electrical problem in a ship's portal crane. "This employer failed to ensure that all live equipment parts to which the worker could be exposed were de-energized," said Grove. "If safety-related work practices had been in place to protect the employee from electrical hazards, this tragedy could have been prevented."
OSHA's inspection of the company, which maintains and repairs all equipment at the Detyens Shipyard, resulted in citations for nine serious violations of safety standards, most of which dealt with electrical hazards. The serious violations included:
failure to de-energize live parts before employees worked on them;
not requiring and providing personal protective equipment for employees exposed to potential electrical hazards;
failing to train employees about electrical safety work practices and proper protective equipment;
live electrical wires allowed to protrude from uncovered receptacles;
not providing standard railing on the open side of a stair platform, and
no emergency eyewash station in the battery charging room.
OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Shiptech America employs about 45 workers at the North Charleston shipyard. The company has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspection of the worksite was conducted by OSHA's area office located at the Strom Thurmond Federal Building, 1835 Assembly St., Room 1468, Columbia, S.C. 29201-2453; telephone: (803) 765-5904.