Region 1 News Release: 11-1622-BOS/BOS 2011-388
Dec. 1, 2011
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
US Labor Department's OSHA cites North Kingstown, RI, shipyard
for repeat and serious safety hazards, proposes more than $62,000 in fines
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Senesco Marine LLC for alleged serious and repeat violations of workplace safety standards. The North Kingstown shipyard faces a total of $62,700 in proposed fines following an inspection conducted under OSHA's Site-Specific Targeting Program, which directs inspections toward workplaces with a rate of workdays lost due to injuries and illnesses that is higher than the industry average.
The inspection by OSHA's Providence Area Office identified a variety of mechanical, electrical and exit hazards at the shipyard. These included a locked emergency exit, an inadequately guarded grinder, an ungrounded electrical cord, the lack of an emergency eyewash, an unattended powered industrial truck left with its motor running and its brake not secured, and a failure to provide annual respirator fit-testing for all members of the company's emergency response team. As a result of these conditions, OSHA issued citations to Senesco Marine for eight serious violations, carrying $35,200 in proposed fines. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The shipyard also was cited for one repeat violation, with a fine of $27,500, for unguarded points of operation on a press brake and an ironworker machine. OSHA cited similar hazards at the shipyard following a 2007 inspection. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years.
"Left uncorrected, these conditions expose workers to potential crushing and 'struck-by' injuries, lacerations, amputations, electric shock and being unable to exit the workplace swiftly in the event of a fire or other emergency," said Patrick Griffin, OSHA's Rhode Island area director. "For the safety and health of its employees, this employer needs to correct these hazards and take effective steps to ensure that they do not occur again."
Senesco Marine LLC has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Providence office at 401-528-4667.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.