Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site



Clemco Industries Corp.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Lead Paint Complaint Halts Shipyard Job

Monday, April 4, 2016

More items for Health & Safety
More items from North America

Comment | More

The confirmed presence of lead paint in a Wisconsin shipyard has halted all work on one vessel while removal of the source is underway.

Fraser Shipyards, located in Superior, became the subject of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration hazardous materials investigation in February after a complaint had been filed with the agency, the Superior Telegram reported Thursday (March 31).

Fraser Shipyards
Images: WDIO

The company had immediately notified employees and halted all work on the affected areas Tuesday (March 29) upon receiving OSHA’s test results regarding the presence of lead paint.

Fraser President James Farkas indicated the company had immediately notified employees and halted all work on the affected areas Tuesday (March 29) upon receiving OSHA’s test results regarding the presence of lead paint. It also contracted a remediation organization to remove lead paint in the areas that will be disturbed.

Additionally, the shipyard was providing free lead level screenings for all team members through a local health system.

“Fraser takes the health and safety of our team members very seriously,” Farkas said in an email to the local paper. “Our team is committed to work to ensure a safe and hazard free work place.”

Founded in 1890, Fraser Shipyards is the last major, independent shipyard on the American side of the Great Lakes, according to its website. The facility offers full shipyard services for steam or oil-fired, welded or riveted vessels.

Elevated Lead Levels

Although the shipyard did not disclose information on its employee’s blood test levels, some employees shared their results with WDIO, the local ABC affiliate.

These employees had gone to the emergency room for testing because they weren’t feeling well, they said. One reported a lead level of 46 micrograms/dL and another of 42 micrograms/dL, the news station said.

While the Center for Disease Control considers anything above 10 to be an elevated level, OSHA does not require workers in the construction industry to be removed from lead exposure until levels reach 50 micrograms/dL or higher, the station noted, adding that a worker may return to work with a lead level below 40 micrograms/dL.

Fraser said all employees who were likely exposed to lead have been tested and are being observed according to current CDC Workplace Safety and Health standards

Fraser Shipyards

When work resumes, the shipyard will implement additional safety precautions, such as air monitoring testing, HEPA vacuum spot cleanup and improved ventilation.

With blood test results being returned to employees and remediation underway, Fraser expects crews will be able to return to work on the project within several days.

When work resumes, the shipyard will implement additional safety precautions, such as air monitoring testing, HEPA vacuum spot cleanup and improved ventilation.

Hazardous Materials Investigation

The OSHA investigation into the presence of potentially hazardous materials was opened on Feb. 10. The area director in Eau Claire, Mark Hysell, would not tell news sources what or who prompted the investigation although the agency's record shows it to be a complaint.

Workers told the local ABC affiliate that the paint in question is on the interior of the Herbert C. Jackson, the target of a major re-powering project they performed during the winter. Representatives from Boilermakers Local 647, one of the unions many at the shipyard belong to, confirmed that it is not unusual to encounter lead paint in their line of work.

In addition to lead, the investigation is also looking at levels of chrome 6, which can be generated during welding on stainless steel or metal coated with chromate paint, the Telegram noted.

The union indicated that crews do wear protective masks while performing their work.

The OSHA investigation remains open.

The company has not yet responded to a PaintSquare News request for comment.

Editor's note: Text edited to include blood lead level measurement terminology.


Tagged categories: Centers for Disease Control; Health and safety; Lead; Lead; OSHA; Personal protective equipment; Shipyards; Unions

Comment from Tony Rangus, (4/4/2016, 10:53 AM)

"One reported a lead level of 46 and another of 42, the news station said." 46 and 42 what? Micrograms per deciliter in the blood? Some sort of skin concentration?

Comment from Michael Breaux, (4/4/2016, 5:52 PM)

Given the context and the mentioned levels of 50 and 40 I believe you're correct on µg/dl. Matches up with 29 CFR 1926.62(k)(1)(iii)(A). I expect the original news report didn't think to ask for that detail.

Comment from mag gholamian, (4/14/2016, 4:14 AM)

Any update on this issue? Which company still makes Lead paints?

Comment from Jeff Laikind, (4/15/2016, 9:48 AM)

As for the origin of the lead paint, according to an on-line source, the Jackson was launched in 1959 with coal-fired boilers, and converted to oil in 1974. Based on those time frames, it's likely that many surfaces were have paint with high levels of lead and/or hexavalent chrome.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Bullard Made in the USA

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments
Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.

Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
The ALPHA1 provides a consistent finish day-in
day-out; job to job.

ABKaelin, LLC
Programs/Training/Monitoring for Silica, Lead, Noise, Beryllium, Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, Hazardous Waste*PM10 & TSP-Lead Ambient Air Monitoring*SSPC C3/C5

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

US Minerals
Blast with the best
The most effective blasting media on the market, Black Diamond hits harder and cleans faster.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

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   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us