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Guam Shipyard Faces 61 OSHA Citations

Friday, August 2, 2013

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U.S. investigators have recommended nearly $300,000 in fines against Guam Shipyard, a former U.S. Navy facility, for scores of alleged health and safety violations.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration citations against the Santa Rita shipyard—officially known as Guam Industrial Services Inc.—consist of 46 serious, seven repeat and eight other-than-serious violations.

The lengthy list ranges from respiratory hazards to toxic exposures, fall protection issues, electrical and lockout/tagout dangers, crane hazards, and others.

Guam Shipyard
Photos: Guam Shipyard

The shipyard was fined $293,450 for dozens of serious and repeat violations.

The violations, carrying a total of $293,450 in proposed fines, follow inspections in January and February by OSHA's Honolulu Area Office under the agency's Local Emphasis Program for Shipyards.

Established in 1997, Guam Shipyard was founded to operate the former U.S. Navy Ship Repair Facility as a private shipyard and industrial facility. The yard, with 300 employees, provides ship repair, maintenance and industrial services to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, Military Sealift Command, and U.S. Flag Commercial Ships.

The company, located in the Western Pacific, could not immediately be reached for comment late Thursday (Aug. 1).

Serious, Repeat Violations

Guam Shipyard

The shipyard is a former U.S. Navy facility that was sold to a private owner in 1997.

The 46 serious safety and health violations allege, among other things:

  • Electrical hazards, such as failure to guard lights from damage, ground equipment, provide covers on electrical box openings, and ensure wiring was protected from abrasion and strain;
  • Lack of guardrail protections;
  • Failure to establish and implement a lockout/tagout program;
  • Lack of a respiratory protection program;
  • Failure to maintain good housekeeping practices;
  • Failure to check, inspect and maintain portable fire extinguishers;
  • Worker exposure to metal fumes;
  • Improper respiratory protection; and
  • Failure to conduct air monitoring to determine workers' exposure level to cadmium.

A serious violation reflects substantial probability of death or serious injury from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The seven repeat violations allege, in part:

  • Inadequate guardrails and fall prevention;
  • Failure to remove defective gear used with cranes;
  • Lack of eye protection; and
  • Electrical wiring hazards.

"Both the number and seriousness of safety and health violations we identified during our inspection are cause for grave concern," said Galen Lemke, director of OSHA's Honolulu Area Office.

"We hope the results of our inspection will serve as a wake-up call—not only for this employer, but for others—about the importance of ensuring workplace safety and health for workers in Guam's maritime industry."

The complete health citations may be viewed here.

The complete safety citations may be viewed in two parts here: Part 1 and Part 2.


Tagged categories: Fall protection; Health and safety; OSHA; Respiratory Protection Standard; Shipyards; U.S. Navy

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