OSHA Publishes Final Rule on Shipyard Working Conditions

May 4, 2011
On May 2, OSHA announced a final rule, “General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment,” that updates existing shipyard requirements to improve worker health and safety and prevent up to 350 serious injuries annually.

The final rule, which was published in the May 2 Federal Register, updates and clarifies provisions in the shipyard employment standards that largely had gone unchanged since OSHA adopted them in 1972. These changes reflect advances in industry practices and technology and provide new protections from hazards that previously were not addressed, including the control of hazardous energy.

“This final rule is the result of collaboration between OSHA and the maritime industry,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “Shipyard work is dangerous, and we believe we have crafted a rule that protects workers while balancing employer concerns regarding implementation.”

The rule addresses 14 workplace safety and health categories and, among other updates, establishes minimum lighting for certain work sites; accounts for employees at the end of job tasks or shifts when working alone; adds uniform criteria to ensure shipyards have an adequate number of appropriately trained first-aid providers; and updates sanitation requirements.

OSHA also added a provision for motor vehicle safety to protect workers from transportation incidents, which, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, account for nearly 20 percent of all shipyard fatalities. The new rule seeks to significantly reduce such incidents by requiring the use of seatbelts when operating motor vehicles in a shipyard.

Finally, for the first time, the agency included a provision for the control of hazardous energy. Until now rule, the maritime industry did not have a specific standard to address this issue.

This final rule covers diverse working conditions in shipyard employment, including sanitation, medical services and first aid, motor vehicle and pedestrian safety, lighting, housekeeping and hazardous energy. OSHA has updated a designated Web page to answer frequently asked questions regarding the rule.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Free Webinar: Mining & ESG: The Sustainability Mandate

March 28, 2024
Participants in this webinar will understand the business drivers and challenges of ESG and sustainability performance, the 5 steps of the ESG and sustainability cycle, and prioritized...

Voice your opinion!

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