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Region 1 News Release: 05-1755-BOS/BOS 2005-248
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
AUGUSTA, Maine -- Safety hazards at Bath Iron Works have resulted in $124,300 in proposed fines from the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The shipyard was cited for a total of 39 alleged repeat and serious violations of safety standards following an inspection begun March 21.
OSHA's inspection found electrical and fall protection hazards similar to those cited in a 2002 OSHA inspection. These included electrical equipment located in wet or damp locations; ungrounded electrical equipment; area around electrical equipment used for storage; unmarked electrical disconnects; flexible cords used in place of fixed wiring or lacking strain relief; inadequate or missing guardrails; tripping hazards; slippery conditions, and blocked fire extinguisher access.
These conditions resulted in ten repeat citations, carrying $64,300 in fines. OSHA issues repeat citations when an employer has been previously cited for substantially similar hazards and those citations have become final.
Other hazards identified in the latest inspection included protruding steel pins, metal brackets and rods; improper storage of combustibles; fall hazards; damaged or unsecured ladders; unguarded grinders and bandsaws; improper storage of compressed gas cylinders; damaged cranes; missing eyewash stations; damaged and uninsulated electrical cables, and damaged welding cables.
Twenty-nine serious citations, with $60,000 in proposed fines, were issued for these alleged violations. A serious violation is a condition where there is a substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm can result to an employee from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Although many of the items were promptly corrected, they point to the need for Bath Iron Works to focus consistently and effectively on meeting and maintaining safety standards," said Anthony Lemire, OSHA's area director for Maine. "Worker safety must be a priority."
Bath Iron Works has 15 working days from receipt of its citations to comply with them, request and participate in an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest them before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. OSHA's Augusta area office, which conducted the inspection, can be reached at (207) 626-9160.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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