OSHA Initiates Program to Safeguard Shipbreaking Workers

Aug. 8, 2001
OSHA recently announced a national emphasis program to increase\r\nfederal inspections of shipbreaking operations to reduce or eliminate\r\nworkplace hazards in the industry.

OSHA recently announced a national emphasis program to increase federal inspections of shipbreaking operations to reduce or eliminate workplace hazards in the industry.

Shipbreaking, also know as ship scrapping and ship disposal, involves breaking down of a vessel''s structure, including the removal of all gear and equipment.

It is considered to be one of the most dangerous segments of the maritime industry.

Over the next five years, it is projected that the U.S. Navy will dispose of more than 60 warships. The Maritime Administration (MARAD) will scrap more than 50 large vessels, while the U.S. Coast Guard will break up more than 200 small- to mid-sized vessels.

The national emphasis program calls for OSHA area offices to begin conducting targeted inspections of known shipbreaking operations.

Additionally, OSHA''s regional administrators will ensure that annual programmed comprehensive inspections are conducted for every Navy and MARAD vessel undergoing shipbreaking operations.

The inspections will focus on common hazards or workplace activities likely to cause injury or illness among workers.

Among those are: asbestos, PCB and lead exposure; hazard communication; confined spaces; hearing conservation; fire prevention, personal protective equipment, emergency response and first aid; cutting and welding; paint removal, powered industrial truck operations; oil/fuel removal and tank cleaning; cranes; scaffolding; and fall protection.

The program comes on the heels of a 1999 Memorandum of Agreement between OSHA and the Departments of Defense and Transportation, and EPA that established numerous requirements and responsibilities designed to reduce work-related injuries, illnesses and environmental hazards during ship scrapping operations.

The program is also in line with OSHA''s five year strategic plan to reduce injuries and illnesses in targeted areas, including the shipyard industry.

by Virginia Foran

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

Sponsored Recommendations

10 Facts About the State of Workplace Safety in the U.S.

July 12, 2024
Workplace safety in the U.S. has improved over the past 50 years, but progress has recently stalled. This report from the AFL-CIO highlights key challenges.

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!