OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA National News Release
U.S. Department of Labor
National News Release
Thursday, April 13, 2000
Contact: Bill Wright (202) 693-1999
New Orleans-based shipbuilder settles safety and health violations
AVONDALE INDUSTRIES AGREES TO PAY $357,750 IN FINES;
WILL IMPLEMENT REVISED SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAM
Avondale Industries, Inc. has agreed to pay $357,750 in penalties for safety and health violations at its shipyard in Avondale, La., and implement a revised safety and health program as part of a settlement agreement announced today by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
"We are pleased that Avondale has agreed to resolve this matter," said Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman. "Avondale's new management has shown they are serious about eliminating safety hazards. Key to this settlement is the company's willingness to revise their safety and health program to better protect their employees."
OSHA originally inspected the shipyard in October 1998 following union complaints of possible imminent danger from falls, and other health issues. Based on that inspection, OSHA issued 60 citations against the shipbuilder last April and proposed fines of $537,000. The majority of those citations dealt with fall protection violations. OSHA also inspected Avondale's injury and illness recordkeeping practices following a union complaint of alleged violations associated with the reporting of employee injuries and illnesses. On July 2, 1999, the agency issued three citations against the shipyard for recordkeeping violations and proposed penalties totaling $180,000. Today's settlement consolidates both those actions.
"Avondale is choosing to take a positive step to improve safety and health conditions for its workers," said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "We're encouraged that they've committed to provide enhanced training on the use of fall protection, scaffold erection and the prevention of fall hazards, one of the leading causes of on-the-job fatalities."
Under the settlement agreement, Avondale Industries will:
Create and implement a revised safety and health program
Implement a "Scaffold Erection, Maintenance, Use, Inspection Disassembly, Storage and Training" program, with oversight by Litton Ship Systems safety and environmental team.
Provide enhanced training to all levels of supervision regarding fall hazards and the use of fall protection by Aug. 1, 2000.
Complete an audit of accidents and injuries over past five years. The audit will be conducted by Litton Ship Systems safety and environmental team (completion date June 1, 2000). The team will report findings and recommended abatement measures to OSHA and authorized employee representatives. Company will implement all feasible recommendations within 12 months from report's completion.
Provide enhanced training to all supervisors about hazards that are contributing to the company's injuries and illnesses to include compliance with OSHA recordkeeping requirements.
Document and report to OSHA and authorized employee representatives each quarter (over next 18 months) all efforts to implement the revised safety and health program and audit team's recommendations.
Undergo a comprehensive review of all accident and medical records for 1995-1999 (conducted by Litton Ship Systems safety and environmental team).
Establish an audit committee to conduct quarterly audits on medical and OSHA logs.
Avondale Industries has 6,600 employees at the shipyard, which builds ships for commercial ventures and the U.S. Navy. Employees are represented by the New Orleans Metal Trades Council, which has 11 trade unions at the shipyard.
The text of this news release is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this news release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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