South Carolina Shipyard Faces OSHA Scrutiny After Worker

South Carolina Shipyard Faces OSHA Scrutiny After Workers Fatal Fall

Detyens Shipyward Inc. now faces $190,130 in proposed penalties.

A recent OSHA investigation into Detyens Shipyards Inc.—a major ship repair and servicing company based in North Charleston, South Carolina—identifed a lack of compliance with safety regulations resulted in the death of a 41-year-old worker.

According to a recent release, the worker fell nearly 20 feet from an unguarded platform inside a gas tank aboard the U.S. Naval Ship 1st Lt. Jack Lummus in November 2023. Employees were preparing to flush the vessel's fuel piping system when the incident occurred. In total, OSHA proposed fines totaling $190,130 following the inspection.

OSHA inspectors cited Detyens Shipyards Inc. with multiple violations, including willfully exposing workers to fall hazards by allowing access a platform without guardrails. Additionally, the agency identified serious violations related to inadequate lighting in the work area, failure to provide hard hats and the use of damaged equipment.

“For the fourth time in five years, Detyens Shipyards failed in its primary responsibility to keep its employees safe, and now another worker’s family, friends and co-workers are left to grieve a terrible and needless loss,” OSHA Area Office Director Kim Morton in Raleigh, North Carolina, said in a statement. “Since 2014, OSHA has identified dozens of serious violations that are clearly jeopardizing their employees’ lives, and this must end.”

Since 2014, OSHA has identified 33 serious violations during 18 inspections at Detyens Shipyards. The company has 15 business days to comply with the citations and penalties, request an informal conference with OSHA or contest the agency’s findings.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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