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Region 6 News Release: 11-1479-DAL
Nov. 7, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Sneed Shipbuilding in
Channelview, Texas, for exposing workers to safety hazards

CHANNELVIEW, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Sneed Shipbuilding Inc. for 14 serious, seven repeat and four other-than-serious violations for exposing workers to multiple safety hazards at the company's facility in Channelview. Proposed penalties total $150,700.

OSHA's Houston North Area Office began its investigation on June 7 at the Market Street shipyard where workers perform electrical, plumbing, welding and maintenance work.

Some of the serious violations include failing to repair a defective hook latch on a crane, ensure the appropriate use of lockout equipment for energy sources, provide training on confined spaces, repair damaged welding cables and provide the required fall protection for employees working on scaffolds. 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.

Repeat violations include failing to conduct crane inspections on a periodic basis, properly maintain flexible cords and cables, repair damaged electrical outlets and welding cables, and provide fire extinguishers. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in June 2010.

The other-than-serious violations involve failing to provide the required testing in confined spaces for safe atmospheric conditions and failing to provide lavatory hand soap. 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.

"This company has once again put the safety of its workers at risk by not adhering to OSHA standards," said David Doucet, director of OSHA's Houston North Area Office. "Employers will be held accountable for repeatedly jeopardizing the safety of employees."

Sneed Shipbuilding, which employs approximately 150 workers, has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Houston, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/Sneed_Shipbuilding_Inc_315610055_1104_11.pdf*

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), the agency's Houston North office at 281-591-2438 or Houston South office at 281-286-0583.

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.

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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.


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