Norfolk Shipyard is Cited For Safety Violations by OSHA
One of the reasons why America is great and has been so successful is because of our industrial capacity. We became the arsenal of democracy with the assembly lines at Ford and GM essential in providing the military muscle to winning World War Two.
American industry has become a lot safer in that time but there is still a way to go. One of Hampton Roads’ most important industries is shipbuilding. That is why I was troubled by a recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that cited Colonna’s Shipyard Inc. in Norfolk for safety violations uncovered during an inspection this May.
As covered in a 13 news story, OSHA found 12 safety violations at the Colonna’s Shipyard Inc. site, including four that were repeat violations. As such they have fined the company $101,000.
OSHA said that during the inspection inspectors saw “while welding the frame of a U.S. Navy vessel, a shipyard worker was just one foot away from three open manholes that exposed the employee to potential falls of up to 30 feet.” Furthermore OSHA cited issues regarding fall protection for employees working on a barge which exposed them to the danger of nearly two story falls. The inspectors also noted defective equipment that could pose an electrical hazard to employees conducting welds, damaged electrical equipment and unguarded machinery used on site, and other problems regarding guarding, electrical, and fire extinguisher issues.
The shipyard, which repairs everything from ferryboats to Navy Ships, was given 15 days to comply, meet informally with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings.
Shipyards are dangerous places. Just last year a worker died at the Lyons Shipyard in Norfolk. The worker was apparently struck and killed by a piece of heavy equipment. And historically there have been long-term health hazards such as the dangers of Mesothelioma, a form of cancer caused by asbestos, that many shipyard workers contracted while working on the job. Then there is the whole issue of workplace hazards from poor equipment which fall under product liability.
If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed by an accident at a workplace, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help. Call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.