Detyens Shipyards faces $101,600 in OSHA fines

The following is the text of a news release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

Employer name: Detyens Shipyards Inc.

Inspection site: 1670 Dry Dock Ave., North Charleston, S.C. 29405

Date inspection initiated: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed a comprehensive inspection on Dec. 2, 2014, as part of its Regional Emphasis Program on Maritime Industries.

Investigation findings: OSHA issued the employer one repeated, 13 serious, and one-other-than serious citation for exposing workers to safety hazards. Violations include not ensuring wire rope guardrails were pulled tight to prevent workers from falling overboard; allowing workers to use forklifts with broken safety equipment; blocked exit doors, not providing welding screens for arc welders; exposing workers to electrical hazards; and exposing workers to saws and other machinery that lacked safety guards. One other violation was cited for an exit not being clearly marked.

Inspection history: OSHA has inspected this employer 12 times since 2005 and has cited more than 40 violations.

Proposed penalties: $101,600

Quote: "I am concerned that this company is promoting a 'pristine safety record,' yet continues to violate OSHA standards that date back to 1973," said Darlene Fossum OSHA's area director in Columbia. "Management must take immediate action to eliminate fall, electrical and other hazards identified during this inspection to protect its workers."

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Detyens Shipyards Inc. is the largest commercial shipyard on the East Coast and employs more than 450 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Columbia Area Office at 803-765-5904.

By Professional Mariner Staff