Questions After a Norfolk Shipyard Worker Was Injured on Submarine
The shipyards of Hampton Roads are among the biggest drivers of the Tidewater economy. Yet when accidents occur at shipyards, they are often extremely serious. Tragically, a Norfolk shipyard worker was injured on the USS San Francisco this week.
A report on WAVY.com noted the civilian employee was left in a critical condition after she was hurt on Tuesday morning.
Shipyard spokesperson Terri Davis said the woman was injured around 9 a.m. and taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The cause of her injury is still being investigated.
WAVY reported the Norfolk shipyard worker injured was an assistant shift test engineer at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Workers holding this position determine and supervise testing performed on vessels’ propulsion plant systems.
The worker was injured as she went through a hatch aboard the submarine.
The San Francisco has been at the shipyard since January 2017 and is being converted to a moored training ship.
The submarine USS San Francisco (SSN-711) was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in 1975, and her keel was laid down on 26 May 1977.
The USS San Francisco made headlines in 2005 when the vessel hit an undersea mountain in the Pacific Ocean.
The crew of the USS San Francisco lived to tell the take after they survived 52 terrible hours at sea. The entire bow of the $1 billion, fast-attack nuclear submarine, was shattered by the impact.
Ninety-eight of the 137 crew members of the submarine were injured, about 20 of them seriously. They battled for hours to keep water out of the submarine and avert further disaster.
Norfolk Shipyard Worker Was Injured – Yards See Frequent Serious Accidents
The injury at the shipyard was the latest in a spate of industrial accidents at Hampton Roads shipyards.
In 2016, three workers at Norfolk’s Colonna Shipyard were injured in a flash fire. Fire units found three victims with burns when they arrived at the shipyard.
Two years earlier, a report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Colonna’s Shipyard Inc. in Norfolk for safety violations uncovered during an inspection.
OSHA noted 12 safety violations at the yard including four that were repeat violations. The shipyard was fined $101,000.
OSHA said that during an inspection, officials saw a shipyard worker was just one foot away from three open manholes that exposed the employee to potential falls of up to 30 feet while welding the frame of a U.S. Navy vessel.
The safety body cited issues such as inadequate fall protection for employees working on a barge which left them exposed to the danger of nearly two-story falls. The inspectors found defective equipment that could pose an electrical hazard to employees conducting welds, defective electrical equipment and unguarded machinery at the shipyard.
Other areas of concern were guarding, electrical, and fire extinguisher issues. The report painted a worrying picture to our Norfolk industrial accident lawyers.
Our thoughts are with the Norfolk shipyard worker who was injured and her family. Often these kinds of accident are caused by negligence. If you have been hurt in an industrial accident, please contact Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 333-3333.