OSHA cites Texas Barge Builder for 16 Safety Violations for Exposing Workers to Hazards

Sterling Shipyard LP fined $305,100

Sterling Shipyard LP out of Houston was cited for 16 serious, repeat and failure-to-abate violations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to a news release. The citations were for continuing to expose workers to safety hazards, including dangerous machinery, high noise levels with appropriate hearing protection and falls from heights above 6 feet. The proposed penalties total $305,100.

Sterling was originally cited by OSHA in October 2013 for 13 serious safety and health violations with a fine of $62,550. A follow-up inspection in January 2014 showed that Sterling had not responded to the citations nor corrected several of the hazardous conditions previously cited.

Sterling was cited for three failure-to-abate violations, with a penalty of $214,200, for continuing to expose workers to machine, struck-by and fall hazards. The company was also cited for four repeat violations, with a penalty of $50,400, for failing to equip surfaces five feet or higher with guardrails and replace worn and frayed electrical cords. The remaining 12 violations, including nine serious with a penalty of $40,500, were cited for failing to train workers who were operating forklifts; to perform regular crane inspections and guard portable machinery; and to provide hearing protection for workers exposed to noise.

“By failing to abate violations cited from an earlier inspection, Sterling chose to ignore worker safety and expose employees to hazards that could lead to illness, injury or death,” said Mark Briggs, OSHA’s area director in the Houston South Area Office in the statement. “OSHA will not tolerate such negligence.”

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