Connecticut Shipyard Facility Cited for 43 Serious Violations

Thames Shipyard and Repair Co., a New London, Conn., shipyard and repair facility, faces $108,000 in proposed fines from OSHA after being cited for 43 alleged serious violations of safety and health standards. The citations and fines follow safety and health inspections conducted under an OSHA program that targets inspections to workplaces with higher-than-average injury and illness rates. OSHA issues serious citations when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.

"The breadth and number of hazardous conditions cited at this workplace reflect the need for this employer to take aggressive, effective, and ongoing action to identify, address, and eliminate them," said C. William Freeman III, OSHA's area director in Hartford, Conn. "Left uncorrected, these conditions expose employees to the ongoing threats of electrocution, lacerations, amputations, fires, falls, chemical burns, hearing loss, and crushing hazards."

Specifically, OSHA identified numerous instances of electrical hazards including inadequate personal protective equipment; ungrounded, exposed, damaged, or misused electric cords or equipment; no electric safety-related work practices program; and lack of such training for the company's electrician. There also were several instances of unguarded saws, grinders, and milling machines; not removing a damaged powered industrial truck from service; excess air pressure in a cleaning hose; and no radius indicator for a crane boom.

Other cited conditions included not implementing a hearing conservation program for employees exposed to excess noise levels, an incomplete respiratory protection program, not providing medical evaluations to all employees who wear respirators, an incomplete bloodborne pathogen exposure control program, welding deficiencies, lack of fall protection, improper storage of compressed gas cylinders, improper dispensing of a flammable liquid, inadequate hazard communication, and no exposure determination for employees exposed to hexavalent chromium. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to meet with OSHA or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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