The First Word in Protective & Marine Coatings

A Product of Technology Publishing / PaintSquare
JPCL | PaintSquare News | Durability + Design | Paint BidTracker

Free Download of

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

OSHA Heightens Scrutiny of Shipbreaking Hazards

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Comment | More


Marine coatings exposures, coatings removal and confined-space safety during ship demolition are facing new federal scrutiny as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration implements a revised National Emphasis Program on Shipbreaking.

“OSHA has determined that this NEP is needed because of the continuing high incidence of injuries and illnesses related to shipbreaking operations,” according to the new program, issued and effective Nov. 4.

The program updates policies and procedures to reduce and eliminate the workplace hazards associated with shipbreaking operations.

‘Ongoing Effort’ Cited

“Shipbreaking of obsolete vessels presents many challenges, including the structural complexity of the ships themselves and environmental, safety, and health issues,” according to the NEP. “Although many recognized problems with past practices have been addressed, an ongoing effort is required to further improve the process and ensure continued success.”

The revisions override the last Shipbreaking NEP issued in March 2005. They are the latest in a program that began with a 1999 agreement involving OSHA, the Department of Defense, the federal Maritime Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The NEP provides a national reporting system for all OSHA shipbreaking inspections and updates guidance pertaining to IMIS recording of shipbreaking operations.

The program also supports OSHA’s ongoing effort to reduce injuries and illnesses among Latino workers, who make up a significant portion of the shipbreaking workforce. Those efforts include an OSHA enforcement memorandum directed at protecting non-English-speaking workers by, among other things, ensuring that they receive OSHA training in a language they understand.

Focus Areas

The NEP specifies comprehensive inspections, scheduled and unscheduled, that focus on hazards and activities in several areas.

Asbestos Exposure: This focus includes permissible exposure limits, exposure assessments and monitoring, respiratory protection, communication of hazard to workers, methods of compliance, protective clothing, hygiene facilities and practices, medical surveillance, training for workers and supervisors, housekeeping and recordkeeping.

Targeted exposures include asbestos insulation on pipes and hull, asbestos adhesives, and asbestos mastic under insulation. 

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Exposure: This focus includes exposure limits, inhalation and dermal protection, and training of workers and supervisors.

Targeted areas include PCBs in silver paint, habitability paint and primary paint on hull steel, as well as PBCs in cables, plastic foam insulation and rubber products such as hoses and gaskets.

Lead: The focus includes burning through lead-coated surfaces, permissible exposure limits, exposure assessments and monitoring, respiratory protection, protective clothing, hygiene facilities and practices, medical surveillance, and training for workers and supervisors. Lead/chromate paint is a key targeted area.

Confined, enclosed and other dangerous atmospheres—all significant hazards—are targeted per 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart B and the guidance detailed in OSHA’s Confined or Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres  and Shipyard Fatality Videos.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is targeted per 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart I and the OSHA eTool called Personal Protective Equipment.

Scaffolds, ladders and working surfaces are targeted per 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart E and the eTools Scaffolds (Staging) and Ladders.

Paint Removal: Paint removal operations are covered by 29 CFR Part 1915, Subpart C and the eTool Surface Preparation for Removal of Hazardous Materials. (Although 1915 Subpart C does not apply to shipbreaking operations, OSHA recommends many of the precautions in the module as good work practices.)


Tagged categories: Asbestos; Confined space; Health and safety; Lead; Marine Coatings; OSHA; Paint and coatings removal; Scaffolding

Comment from Keith Charest, (11/10/2010, 8:33 AM)

It is unfortunate that the authorities in North America can not extend their reach globally to level the playing field.

Comment from Thomas Donovan, (11/10/2010, 8:48 PM)

More jobs going overseas. I guess we can all go work for the government!

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Hempel (USA) Inc.

Efficient systems and high quality products to reduce your maintenance costs. Visit Hempel Protective for more information.

Atlantic Design, Inc.

Many service issues can be easily solved over the phone. When you do need parts, ADI has most in stock for all your blasting needs. 866.Call.ADI

Minerals Research & Recovery


“Made in the USA!”

Why recycle waste from other countries? Go FASTER, CLEANER, at 1/3 THE COST with MR&R “All-American” Sharpshot®HP!!


Abrasives Inc.
Check our Prices for Blast Abrasives

Faced with higher abrasive costs? We invite you to call & check our rates on Black Magic® coal slag and other quality blast materials. Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.

U.S. Zinc

With multiple locations, ample capacity and a proven safety record, U.S. Zinc offers supply security to customers around the globe. Helping the world work™

Find BLACK BEAUTY® Abrasives

Use our online tool to search by address, city or zip code to find where you can buy BLACK BEAUTY® abrasives. Or call us toll free: 1-888-733-3646

Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2014, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail