OSHA has cited Austal USA LLC was cited for 12 safety and health violations involving fall and other hazards at the shipbuilder’s Mobile, Ala., facility.
OSHA, which inspected the facility after receiving a complaint, has proposed $41,500 in fines.
“The government expects that contractors, such as Austal, should not only deliver a good product, but also conduct operations in a safe manner,” said Joseph Roesler, OSHA’s area director in Mobile. “The lack of attention to safety and health issues unnecessarily exposed employees to hazards at the Mobile facility, and these hazards need to be addressed and controlled throughout the shipbuilding process.”
OSHA issued nine serious citations for lack of standard railings on all staircases, which exposed workers to fall hazards; improperly secured gas cylinders; and failure to reduce the pressure in a compressed-air device to less than 30 pounds-per-square inch when cleaning.
OSHA also cited the company for allowing worker overexposure to copper fumes during welding operations.
Other citations included failure to ensure that workers followed safety procedures to prevent accidental machine startup and to protect workers from unguarded machinery.
The agency issued three citations for using temporary flexible cable instead of permanent wiring, improperly labeling hazardous chemicals and failure to ensure that temporary wiring was not damaged.
OSHA has cited the facility three times in the past five years. Violations have included improper use of slings and maritime gear, poor walking and working surfaces, a lack of accident prevention signage and electrical hazards, according to OSHA.
Mobile-based Austal USA has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply or contest OSHA’s findings.