Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 99-153
Friday, August 20, 1999
Contact: Clyde Payne
PHONE: (601) 965-4606
OSHA FINES INGALLS SHIPBUILDING $151,700 FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH VIOLATIONS AT PASCAGOULA FACILITY
The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc., and proposed penalties totaling $151,700 following safety and health inspections of the company's Pascagoula facility.
According to Clyde Payne, OSHA's Jackson area director, Ingalls was targeted for a comprehensive safety and health inspection because of its high illness and injury rate. Payne said, "High rates of illness and injury are the indicators OSHA uses to target industries and operations where an inspection might alleviate hazards, prevent accidents and save lives." The shipyard industry is one of OSHA's strategic initiatives.
OSHA's targeted inspection of the Pascagoula shipyard found 37 serious and four repeat safety violations with proposed penalties of $140,200. These included hazards associated with electrical shock, falls, and numerous deficiencies that could cause workers to be struck by or caught in materials or equipment.
As a result of the health inspection, OSHA's team found another five serious violations. An additional penalty of $11,500 was proposed for these citations, which included problems related to hazard communication, employee personal protective equipment, and the use of flammable liquids.
"Even though Ingalls has a formal safety and health program, the large number of violations we observed shows there are areas for improvement," said Payne. "OSHA expects an employer to protect workers, particularly in those industries where injuries are most likely to occur."
A serious violation is 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.
Repeat violations occur when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Ingalls Shipbuilding employs about 11,000 workers. The company 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.
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