OSHA cites Michigan shipyard for 32 safety and health violations

Written by Nick Blenkey

basicmarineThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration last week cited Basic Marine Inc., a shipyard and boat fabricating facility in Escanaba, Mich., for 32 violations of safety and health standards. OSHA says the citations includie five repeat violations. Proposed fines total $147,840.

OSHA says it began health and safety inspections in July, 2011 as a follow-up to inspections conducted in March 2008. The 2008 inspections were initiated based on a referral from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, after a worker sustained an amputation injury.

“Basic Marine has demonstrated a total lack of commitment to employee safety and health by repeatedly failing to protect its workers. This situation is particularly egregious as the initial citations were issued after a worker was severely injured on the job,” said Robert Bonack, director of OSHA’s Lansing Area Office. “Whenever workers are injured, we expect that employers should be receptive to re-evaluating their safety and health programs to reduce the likelihood of more injuries, but this has not been the case with Basic Marine.”

A single repeat safety violation represents failing to provide machine guarding to prevent inadvertent contact with an operating vertical band saw. Four repeat health violations are failing to have a written hazard communications program and to train workers in hazard communications; train workers in safety procedures for testing and entering enclosed, confined and other spaces that may have dangerous atmospheric conditions; and annually fit test workers who wore respirators. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited during the 2008 inspections.

Twenty-one serious safety violations include failing to provide fall protection, provide training and evaluation in the safe operation of forklifts, inspect forklifts and other equipment as required, repair damaged equipment before operating cranes, correct unsafe conditions before resuming crane operations, ensure workers wore head protection when hazards existed and provide an effective fire safety plan. Four serious health violations are failing to provide an air-line respirator for workers spray painting in a confined space, evaluate confined spaces for environmental hazards, conduct training drills for the designated confined space rescue team and post confined space air monitoring results. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Two other-than-serious health and safety violations involve failing to maintain monthly inspection records for cranes, brakes and other machinery, as well as to medically evaluate workers when required. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

The citations can be viewed at:

Basic Marine Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

January 16, 2012

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