Virginia Ship Repair Association Partnership Reduces Injury and Illness Rates and Increases Safety and Health Training
In December 2006, the Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc. (VSRA) and OSHA's Region III, Norfolk Area Office developed an OSHA Strategic Partnership (OSP). Through this Partnership, a joint effort was established to target large populations of the ship repair industry with a key focus on safety and health. The main purpose of the Partnership is to promote a voluntary and cooperative agreement that helps to reduce occupational accidents and save lives.
The Partnership's main goals are to increase the number of ship repair employers with effective safety and health management systems (SHMS), to maintain a Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART) rate below the most recently published national average for the ship repair industry, and to reduce the level of injuries by at least 4% annually over the course of the Partnership.
Injury and Illness Rates Decline - Days Away, Restricted and Transfer (DART), Lost Time Injury Rate (LTIR)
During the first year of the Partnership (2007), participants worked a total of 11,690,873 man-hours. During the evaluation period, the members recorded a total of 259 incidents equating to a DART rate of 4.4. This met one of the Partnership's goal of achieving a DART rate below the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) national average of 6.3 (2006) for that industry. The table below shows the aggregate injury and illness baseline rate of the 17 Partnership members.
|Year 1- Baseline (2007)||4.4||2.18|
|BLS Industry National Average for Most Recent Year (2006)||6.3||4.4|
The Partnership had 128 lost time injuries resulting in 4,348 lost work days equating to a Lost Time Injury Rate (LTIR) of 2.18 - almost 50 percent below the BLS national average.
Low Lost Time Injury Rate Achieved through Increased Training Efforts
During the first year of the Partnership, a significant effort was made to increase the number of safety and health training courses that were offered. A comprehensive training program was implemented that provided over 45,000 hours of training to 5,031 employees and 747 supervisors during the first year. Safety and health training topics included respiratory protection, bloodborne pathogens, forklift training, confined space, first aid, tool box talks "Train the Trainer" fire safety, and safety training refresher courses. It is believed that there is a direct correlation between the increased safety and health training and the low injury and illness rates for the Partnership.
The Partnership has three main objectives:
- To increase the number of ship repair employers who develop, implement, and maintain comprehensive safety and health management systems in accordance with OSHA's 1989 Safety and Health Management Guidelines.
- To keep the DART rate below the most recently published BLS national average for the industry (which was 6.0 for the year 2005).
- To further reduce this level of injuries by at least 4% annually for the life of the agreement.