Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

Process: Shipfitting


Traumatic/Acute Injuries: Problems and Solutions


Unauthorized Tool Modification

Although it may seem that problems can be solved by modifying existing tools, doing so can create grave danger to both the user and those working near-by. Tools should only be used for the purpose for which they were designed. If the tool is modified, an engineering review is required prior to using the modified tool to ensure that it will safely perform under multiple load conditions.

The C-clamps shown at right were modified with good intentions, but actually created a hazard.

two modified c-clamps

In the top photo, the clamp on the left failed under load, causing the metal being clamped to suddenly be released.

The clamp shown in the bottom photo was identified and removed from the worksite before it could be used. Later examination indicated that it would have failed under the intended load.

single modified c-clamps


It is imperative to establish and reinforce a policy that strictly prohibits tool modification without proper authorization, and creates the opportunity for employees to develop tools, jigs, and fixtures that are correctly engineered.


Exposed Insulation Pins

Shipfitters work in areas with exposed insulation pins that are capable of inflicting puncture wounds.

exposed insulation pins


Depending on how quickly the insulation will be installed, either warning placards, plastic pin covers or bending the pins over may be used to reduce this danger.

placard and plastic covered insulation pins
red plastic cap on insulation pins with close up


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