The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region X Anchorage Area Office (AAO) and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company - SERVS & TCC/llc (APSC-SERVS/TCC) - signed an Alliance on September 24, 2003. The Alliance promotes a culture of workplace safety and health while facilitating the sharing of best practices and technical knowledge.
SERVS, which is the acronym for Ship Escort Response Vessels System, was established in July 1989 and was the direct result of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. SERVS mission:
To prevent oil spills by assisting tankers in safe navigation through Prince William Sound and to protect the environment by providing effective response services to the Valdez Marine Terminal and Alaska Crude Oil Shippers in accordance with oil spill response agreements and plans.
Specifically, the Alliance promotes the development of a marine oil spill response training curriculum which meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.120, "Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)." The OSHA/APSC - SERVS/TCC Alliance assists in identifying HAZWOPER training needs for the Fishing Vessel Training Program. This program is vital to the success of the SERVS mission and ensures that the commercial fishing community and the professional oil spill responders can initiate safe, healthful, and effective oil spill response capabilities should the need arise.
Lou Weaver, CSP, HSE/QA manager at TCC stated that, "The creation of the OSHA Alliance Program has pushed the Fishing Vessel Training Program to the next necessary level in developing a truly safe working environment." Acceptance of sound safety and health principles was more of an exception than the rule by the commercial fishing community. According to Lou Weaver, "We have closely watched a dramatic shift occur as safety awareness and safe practices became integrated into the fishermen's lifestyles. If you examine where we were a few years ago and compared it to where we are now in 2004, it is a total shift in the safety mindset from being an inconvenience when TCC and/or SERVS are around. It is now an operational demand as seen in the pre-briefings, the actual operations and lessons learned for our various exercises and drills conducted in and around Price William Sound annually.
Randy White, Area Director of Region X's Anchorage OSHA Office, shepherded the formation of the Alliance. Through his guidance, OSHA provides direct feedback regarding the training curriculum, drills, and the cross training of OSHA personnel in APSC - SERVS/TCC best practices. The training, knowledge, and participation of the AAO staff allows for the better identification of workplace hazards and ultimately leading to the improvement of best practices in the marine oil spill response environment.
For more information on the OSHA/ APSC - SERVS/TCC Alliance and its activities, Contact Randy White.
-- As of August 2004.
Since 2003, Alliance Program participants have trained fishing vessel operators to respond to marine oil spills in and near the Prince William Sound region (i.e., areas affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989) as well as Kodiak Island. The focus of the training is to teach workers to avoid exposure to marine oil spill response hazards and/or address HAZWOPER issues. The training was also offered to communities outside of the Prince William Sound region because their areas are affected by the tidal and current action of the northern Gulf of Alaska.
The training included classroom sessions that focused on theory and compliance and practical sessions that included the deployment of on-water spill response equipment. Representatives from the OSHA Anchorage Area Office observed and evaluated training sessions, provided regulatory information, and served as subject matter experts.
Many of the fishing vessel operators participate annually to maintain their proficiency on the equipment and competency in the Marine Hazardous Material Technician objectives. Each year, new operators and crew members participate. A total of 266 fishing vessels accounted for the 917 individuals trained during Fiscal Year 2009-an 11-percent increase over the total number of individuals trained in FY2008.
-- As of January 2010.
Since establishing an Alliance on October 22, 2002, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Region X and the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) continue to pursue their overall goals of addressing shipyard safety and health issues by increasing the industry's access to innovative information and training resources. The OSHA/SCA Alliance is targeting the prevention of musculoskeletal disorders (MSD's) and exposure to lead in the workplace as well as the development of a draft model lockout/tagout program for future incorporation into OSHA's Shipyard Employment eTool.
Since entering into the Alliance agreement, more than 60 shipyard employees have received training on safety and health topics, including ergonomics and lead awareness. SCA sponsored a safety seminar on October 29-30, 2003 in Portland, OR to update their Washington and Oregon members. OSHA's Portland Area Office Director Carl Halgren provided an update on the Shipyard Employment eTool and the Agency's four-pronged approach to ergonomics.
SCA's "Shipyard Ergonomics" training program, developed through a Susan Harwood Training Grant, includes a 30-minute shipyard ergonomics video and ergonomics training manual. These materials have been useful in furthering the Alliance's activities related to educating shipyard employees and OSHA personnel about ergonomics issues in the maritime industry. On May 14, 2003, as part of this program, Stewart Prezant Ergonomics Group conducted a shipyard ergonomics workshop which included basic ergonomics instruction and information on back protection and materials handling, upper extremity MSD's, and an exercise for the participants to practice identifying ergonomics stresses and how to resolve them in an industrial environment. The ergonomics video, filmed at Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc. in Seattle, WA, was also presented to the OSHA Maritime Steering Committee in April at the OSHA Training Institute in Arlington Heights, IL and was well received.
On July 7, 2003, with assistance from the Region X Bellevue Area Office, SCA gave a two hour comprehensive training session on lead awareness to approximately 20 representatives from various shipyards. Training topics included where lead is typically found in vessels, routes of entry, medical symptoms of overexposure, methods to control exposure, recordkeeping, medical surveillance, and abatement methods. Each participant received a copy of OSHA's "Lead in the Workplace" CD along with a copy of the training materials.
Looking ahead to future Alliance milestones, the SCA has provided OSHA's Region X Portland and Bellevue Area Offices with a draft lockout/tagout program developed by Todd Shipyards in Seattle for review and comment. When finalized, this program will be incorporated into the OSHA Shipyard Employment eTool as an industry recommended best practice.
For additional information about this Alliance and it activities, please contact Mike Bonkowski, OSHA Region X.
-- As of July 2003.
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