Region 4 News Release: USDL: 00-14
Monday, Feb. 14, 2000
Contact: Eugene Stewart
PHONE: (601) 965-4606
OSHA FINES PASCAGOULA, MISS., MARITIME CONTRACTOR $126,000 FOLLOWING TRIPLE FATALITY
Other Contractors On-Site Receive Total Fines of $18,200
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
has cited Friede Goldman Halter Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $126,000 for safety and
health violations found at the company's Pascagoula, Miss., worksite. The penalties resulted from
investigations which began after a fatal accident in August 1999.
According to Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson, Miss., area director, three workers fell 123
feet to their deaths when a suspended scaffolding system failed. A fourth worker was saved by
his fall protection harness. "Following the accident, we conducted a fatality investigation
followed by comprehensive safety and health inspections of the facility," said Payne.
OSHA's fatality investigation resulted in two serious safety citations against Friede
Goldman Halter for violations involving exposure of workers to falls while working on unfinished
scaffolding without proper lanyard and safety harness protection.
The expanded safety inspection resulted in 37 additional serious citations for hazards
related to electrical shock, falls, and worker exposure to being struck by or caught in machinery
and equipment. Total proposed penalties for the safety violations found during both
investigations were $113,500.
An additional penalty of $12,500 was proposed for violations found during the health
inspection of the facility. These included hazard communication, employee personal protective
equipment, and hazardous atmospheres.
Separate citations issued to seven other contractors on the site resulted in penalties
totaling $18,200. The additional contractors are: Bill Brown, International Marine Industrial
Applications, Jamestown Metal Marine Sales, Inc., Loadmaster Rig Services, Inc., Noble Drilling,
Powerhouse Electric Division, and Southern Scrap.
"The maritime construction, repair and manufacturing performed by companies in this
highly hazardous industry require that safety and health measures are in place to prevent
accidents," said Payne. "Such measures save lives, reduce workers' compensation costs, improve
employee morale, and ultimately increase company profits."
Payne added, "Appropriate testing and evaluation of the scaffolding systems prior to being
placed in service and use of proper personal protective equipment would help to ensure that
accidents of this nature would not occur in the future."
A serious violation is defined by OSHA as one in which there is substantial probability that
death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew, or should have known, of the
Friede Goldman Offshore, Inc. employed approximately 5,000 workers in its east and west
bank facilities which were considered one entity for purposes of OSHA's inspection. The
company, which completed a merger with Halter Marine Group, Inc., shortly after OSHA's
inspection, has 15 working days to contest OSHA's citations and proposed penalties before the
independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Inspections of the worksite were conducted by OSHA's area office located at 3780 I-55
North, Suite 210, Jackson, Miss. 39211-6323; telephone: (601) 965-4606.