OSHA, Shipbuilders, Sail into Safety in Houston

Bollinger Shipyards Inc. and First Wave Marine Inc. sign a one-year partnership agreement with OSHA that all hope will reduce occupational injuries and illnesses.

Bollinger Shipyards Inc. and First Wave Marine Inc. in Houston signed a one-year partnership agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency signed a partnership agreement with the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) in April 2001 that allows Houston-area SCA members, like Bollinger and First Wave Marine, to participate in the program.

"OSHA performs an onsite audit of the companies to verify that they meet the safety and health partnership requirements," said John Miles, OSHA regional administrator in Dallas. "Participating in the partnership allows these companies to work in cooperation with OSHA to continue their efforts to reduce injuries and illnesses and to continue to provide a safe workplace."

The agreement will allow OSHA to more effectively utilize its resources by targeting problem work sites for regular inspections, rather than work sties that have demonstrated effective safety and health programs. OSHA and the SCA will conduct safety training for the partnership members to improve hazard recognition and take corrective actions at the work sites.

SCA is a national trade association that represents a U.S. shipyard industry that builds and repairs commercial vessels and represents 49 shipyard companies that own and operate more than 12 shipyards in 23 states. SCA also represents 38 affiliate members who provide goods and services to the shipyard industry.

Establishing partnerships with the private sector to improve workplace safety and health is one OSHA's major goals. While participation in the program is voluntary, OSHA anticipates that shipbuilders who enter into the program will experience fewer workplace accidents and a decrease in workers' compensation costs.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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