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Region 10 News Release: 09-1116-SEA (09-153)
Sept. 29, 2009
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
Phone: 206-553-7620

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA proposes more than $87,000 in fines for violations at Seward Ship's Drydock, Inc., in Seward, Alaska

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Seward Ship's Drydock Inc. for alleged willful, serious and repeat violations of safety and health standards at its ship repair facility in Seward, Alaska. The company faces a total of $87,300 in proposed fines.

OSHA investigated after receiving a complaint concerning working conditions in the confined spaces and voids of the dredging barge, Paula Lee, and determining a possible imminent danger situation existed at the worksite.

"When an employer is indifferent to its OSHA Act obligation to provide a safe workplace, OSHA will use its full enforcement authority to change that attitude," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA regional administrator in Seattle.

OSHA's inspection found a willful violation involving lack of gas testing of confined work spaces; nine serious violations involving tripping hazards, respiratory protection hazards, electrical hazards, struck-by hazards from compressed air equipment, struck-by hazards from the use of damaged hooks and slings, drowning hazards, recording of air monitoring results, and the lack of fire watch when required by specific instructions; and three repeat violations due to the continuing use of damaged welding leads and cables, damaged ladders and fall hazards as a result of unguarded flush open hatches.

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard of worker safety and health. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known and repeat citations are issued for violations that were also cited during previous inspections.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA's role is to promote safe and healthful working conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, outreach and education. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department 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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