US Department of Labor's OSHA finds 50 violations at Huntington Ingalls
shipyard in Mississippi, proposes more than $176,000 in penalties
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited government contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries International Shipbuilding Inc. and five subcontractors for a total of 50 safety and health violations. OSHA opened its inspection after receiving a complaint in June about safety hazards at the Pascagoula shipyard. The initial inspection was expanded to a comprehensive safety and health inspection under OSHA's Site Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on companies in industries with higher-than-average injury and illness rates. Proposed penalties total $176,444.
The company employs more than 38,000 workers in California, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, and has contracts with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. It is based in Newport News, Va., and was formerly known as Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding.
"Huntington Ingalls employs more than 10,000 workers at this location who build ships for the federal government, and these employees deserve a first-rate occupational safety and health program. This is a wake-up call that the safety and health of workers needs to be the shipyard's highest priority," said Teresa Harrison, OSHA's acting regional administrator in Atlanta.
OSHA cited Huntington Ingalls for 37 serious safety violations, carrying penalties of $150,300, for impalement, electrical, "struck-by," scaffolding, blocked exits, compressed gases, rigging, machine guarding, welding, tripping and fall hazards. Four serious health violations with $16,000 in penalties include allowing lead, arsenic and cadmium dust to accumulate in a lunch area; dispensing of flammable liquids in improper containers; using containers for flammable liquids that were damaged; and not labeling adhesive and paint containers with hazard warnings. 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.
Additionally, three other-than-serious violations with no monetary penalty were cited for failing to provide an exit sign, provide a floor plate to determine load capacity and use fixed wiring to replace a flexible cord. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
Industrial Corrosion Control Inc. was cited for two serious safety violations with $3,808 in penalties for improper handling of compressed gas cylinders, and allowing cables and hoses to be tripping hazards. General Insulation Inc. was cited for one serious safety violation with a $2,384 fine for an electrical hazard, and U.S. Joiner LLC also was cited for one serious safety violation with a $2,167 penalty for an electrical hazard. Marine Flooring LLC was cited for one serious violation with a $1,785 penalty for applying a corrosive material without ensuring that employees have access to an eyewash facility. Robert J. Baggett Inc. was cited for one other than serious safety violation with no monetary penalty for using a portable diesel fuel tank that lacked identification of its contents and an appropriate hazard warning.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Huntington_Ingalls_315303115_safety_1221_2011.pdf* http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Huntington_Ingalls_315303255_health_1221_2011.pdf.*
The companies have up to 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference 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 Jackson Area Office at 601-965-4606.
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.
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.
* Accessibility Assistance Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.