OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
TRADE NEWS RELEASE
Friday, January 17, 2003
Contact: William Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999
SAN DIEGO -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Port of San Diego Ship Repair Association (PSDSRA) are teaming up to protect shipyard workers at the port, according to an announcement today by OSHA Administrator John L. Henshaw. OSHA and the PSDSRA, which represents more than 30 ship-repair companies at the port, signed a partnership agreement today to work together to eliminate the risk of catastrophic accidents and prevent serious injuries and illnesses to workers. About 95 percent of the work performed by these companies is on U.S. Navy vessels at the port.
"Shipyards can be highly hazardous workplaces," Henshaw said. "It is precisely this type of commitment on the part of employer groups that we need to help companies reduce injuries and illnesses and assure safer workplaces for their employees."
Employers participating in the partnership with OSHA must make an up-front commitment at their highest executive levels to a formal safety and health program with employee participation. The companies must establish joint employer/employee safety and health committees that include worker participation in several areas, including OSHA inspections. Employers must also commit to having a full-time employee with safety and health responsibility, including authority to make safety and health corrections and to shut down operations that pose an imminent danger risk.
Participating companies also agree to train workers on fire and emergency procedures, hazard communications and personal protective equipment, with special emphasis on respiratory protection and noise, and make Material Safety Data Sheets available to any requesting employee. The companies also agree to train all affected personnel on aspects of confined space entry, a particular hazard in the ship repair industry.
Other expectations of the partnership include employer-conducted workplace safety inspections no less than once a month and notification to all affected employees of any hazards identified during those inspections. Employers also agree to train their workforce in the details of their safety and health programs, their rights and responsibilities in maintaining a safe and healthful workplace, and on the procedures to identify and correct hazards in their work areas.
For participating companies who meet the intent of the partnership, OSHA will conduct focused verification inspections instead of programmed inspections, and will use inspectors trained in the terms of the partnership. The agency also will help participating companies with training, and give technical advice, publications and training materials to employers who request the assistance.
OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses and protecting America's workers. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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