OSHA's Shipyard Regulations Set for Revision

OSHA announced it is accepting public comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on General Working Conditions in Shipyard Employment. The proposed rule aims to help reduce hazards and provide greater protection for shipyard employees. The agency will be accepting public comments on the proposed rule until March 19.

"Working in shipyards is one of the most hazardous occupations in the nation," said Edwin Foulke Jr., assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. "Shipyard employees perform industrial operations such as abrasive blasting and welding, operate heavy equipment and often work in confined spaces onboard vessels. This proposed rule would help reduce the hazards these employees face."

The proposal updates and clarifies provisions in the shipyard employment standards (29 CFR Part 1915 subpart F) that have largely gone unchanged since OSHA adopted them in 1972. OSHA proposes to revise and update existing provisions and to add new provisions, including the control of hazardous energy and motor vehicle safety. Other proposed updates include establishing minimum lighting for certain worksites, accounting for employees at the end of work-shifts if they work in confined spaces or alone in isolated spaces, and adding uniform criteria to ensure shipyards have an adequate number of appropriately trained first aid providers. The proposal also updates sanitation requirements.

Interested parties may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking Portal; by sending three copies to the OSHA Docket Office, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; or by faxing to 202-693-1678 if the comments and attachments do not exceed 10 pages. Comments must include the agency name and docket number OSHA-S049-2006-0675.

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