Final rule reflects advances in shipyard practices and technology
The rule updates and clarifies provisions in the shipyard employment standards that have been essentially unchanged since they were adopted in 1972. Among the 14 workplace safety and health categories addressed are new provisions for the control of hazardous energy and motor vehicle safety.
The control of hazardous energy, generally called lockout/tagout can cause machinery or equipment to start unexpectedly or it can be released during servicing or maintenance operations, according to OSHA. Such incidents can lead to serious injuries or deaths.
Transportation accounts for nearly 20 percent of all shipyard fatalities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The new rule seeks to reduce those incidents by requiring the use of seat belts when operating a motor vehicle in a shipyard -- even in New Hampshire, which does not have a seat belt law. The rule also prohibits employees from riding in the back of pickup trucks.
Other issues covered under the rule include eliminating slippery conditions and the accidents that result, establishing minimum lighting for certain work sites, accounting for employees working alone at the end of job tasks or work shifts, adding uniform criteria to ensure shipyards have an adequate number of appropriately trained first aid providers, and implementing proper sanitation requirements.
The estimated cost of the rule is $4.2 million with benefits expected to be $33.8 million per year, for a net benefit of $29.6 million annually. The rule takes effect Aug. 1, except for the provisions covering control of hazardous energy, which go into effect Oct. 31.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
June 2, 2011
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