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May 20, 2010

VT Halter comments on OSHA actions

VT Halter Marine (VHTM) commented today on the OSHA citations and fines resulting from OSHA's investigation of two fatalities and two injuries occurring at the VT Halter Marine (VTHM) Moss Point facility in November of 2009.

"We deeply regret this tragic accident," said Bill Skinner, CEO of VTHM. "The safety of our people is the core value our entire company is built upon," he said.

"We've been a major employer and an active, contributing member of this community for over forty years," Skinner said.

"Up until now, we never had a fatal accident. But, even one accident is one too many. That's why we are doing everything in our power to set the standard for safety in our industry," he said.

After the accident on November 20, 2009, VTHM representatives fully cooperated with OSHA while the agency conducted an onsite safety investigation at the Moss Point Marine facility. VTHM gave OSHA full access to employees for questions and interviews. Concerns expressed by OSHA officials during that on-site visit were carefully noted by VTHM representatives. Many concerns were corrected on the spot. All concerns by OSHA have been addressed.

"Our cooperation with OSHA during their investigation and the speed at which we addressed their concerns demonstrates our commitment to providing a safe and healthy work site for the people who work here," Skinner said. "In December, we conducted a day-long safety stand down to provide safety refresher training to all our employees. We continue mandatory safety refresher courses on an on-going basis," he said.

VTHM has hired a top maritime industry consultant to review and where necessary update safety policies, procedures, and training.

"We would hope to have the opportunity to partner with OSHA to develop best practices for not only safer paint preparation procedures but also other safety and health areas within our industry," Skinner said.


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