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NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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Trade News Release
Dec. 20, 2007
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Publishes Proposal on Shipyard Employment

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Labor's (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will announce today in the Federal Register they are accepting public comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment. The proposed rule aims to help reduce hazards and provide greater protection for shipyard employees. The agency will be accepting public comments on the proposed rule until March 19, 2008.

"Working in shipyards is one of the most hazardous occupations in the nation," said Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Shipyard employees perform industrial operations such as abrasive blasting and welding, operate heavy equipment and often work in confined spaces onboard vessels. This proposed rule would help reduce the hazards these employees face."

The proposal updates and clarifies provisions in the shipyard employment standards (29 CFR Part 1915 subpart F) that have largely gone unchanged since OSHA adopted them in 1972. OSHA proposes to revise and update existing provisions and to add new provisions, including the control of hazardous energy and motor vehicle safety.

Proposed updates include establishing minimum lighting for certain worksites, accounting for employees at the end of work-shifts if they work in confined spaces or alone in isolated spaces, and adding uniform criteria to ensure shipyards have an adequate number of appropriately trained first aid providers. The proposal also updates sanitation requirements.

Interested parties may submit comments electronically at, the Federal eRulemaking Portal; by sending three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; or by FAX at (202) 693-1678 if the comments and attachments do not exceed 10 pages. Comments must include the Agency name and Docket Number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-S049-2006-0675).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 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 working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at 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. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755. DOL 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
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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