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April 20, 2011
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

New OSHA injury prevention sheet advises shipyard industry
employers, workers of hazards involved in rigging

WASHINGTON – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently published a new Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheet (SHIPS) on rigging that explains what employers must do to protect shipyard workers from rigging hazards.

Workers performing rigging functions use ropes and cables to secure a ship's parts and sections for lifting by cranes, hoists and other material handling equipment. Loads that are improperly rigged can expose workers to hazards including falls, electric shock, amputation, and being crushed by objects.

The SHIPS contains sections on how shipyard workers are exposed to hazards such as falls, shocks and traumatic injuries. The SHIPS also describes cases of workers injured or killed while performing rigging operations. Pictures accompany the descriptions of the cases to illustrate unsafe work practices. The publication also contains analyses of the unsafe conditions and practices that contributed to the worker's injury or fatality, as well as measures employers should implement to prevent similar incidents from reoccurring.

"Far too many workers in shipyard employment have suffered severe injuries or have died from preventable hazards," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Employers who follow the guidance provided in this injury prevention sheet will create a safer, more healthful work environment for their workers."

This SHIPS offers training information written in plain language, and includes mini-posters making it reader friendly for workers and employers. OSHA has a number of other maritime-related information materials available on the OSHA Maritime Industry Web page. It provides employers and maritime workers with information and assistance to help them ensure a safe workplace by complying with OSHA standards. Included on the page are links to maritime standards and compliance assistance, information on the OSHA Maritime Outreach Training Program for employers and workers, and safety and health topics pages on specific maritime issues.

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 assure 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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