Barge services provider faces OSHA penalties

MARCH 24, 2015 — Mt. Vernon Barge Services (MVBS), Jeffersonville, IN, faces penalties of $77,000 after a November 2014 inspection by  the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Indianapolis Area Office resulted in citations for nine serious safety violations and nine serious health violations.

Located on the Ohio River, Mt. Vernon Barge Services provides harbor services for the Port Of Indiana at Mt. Vernon and other barge terminals. The company also performs topside, pumping and fiberglass repairs.

"Electrical safety violations, improper storage of potentially hazardous materials and a failure to plan for emergency situations are immediate safety needs that MVBS must address by to prevent injury and illness in the workplace," said Vanessa Martin, OSHA's area director in Indianapolis.

Seven of the nine serious safety violations were related to electrical safety. OSHA's investigation found employees were exposed to electrical hazards because circuits were overloaded and flexible cords were used where permanent wiring should have been installed.

In addition, employees were exposed to fall hazards of 13 feet because handrails were not installed along gangways, and crane controls were not properly labeled and the crane's swing radius was not protected in order to prevent employees from being struck by the moving part.

The nine serious health violations were cited for:

  • Lack of a respiratory protection program, including failure to identify and evaluate respiratory hazards.
  • Lack of a written hazard communication program in order to prevent employees from possible exposure to hazardous chemicals and other substances in the work place.
  • Failure to establish a shipyard rescue team.
  • Lack of a written fire safety plan and failure to train employees.
  • Not properly storing compressed gas
  • Not providing hand protection and failure to conduct a personal protective equipment hazard analysis.

An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or show have known exist.

You can view the citations HERE

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